Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day Deals

Amazon’s fake holiday is back again this year. In an effort to get you to join Amazon’s prime service they are offering some pretty good deals. They are offering a bunch of crap too, so allow me to point you in the direction of some of the good ones.

There are tons of other deals you might be interested in but you need an Amazon Prime membership to take advantage of the sales, so sign up for a free trial now if you haven’t already.


Farm To Table


This is a clip from the film Samsara, directed by Ron Fricke (also the director of Baraka and the director of photography for Koyaanisqatsi) packs a real punch, without saying a word. If you are not too squeamish, stick to the end, the last scene is the kicker. This is not comfortable or pleasant viewing. It is dystopian and confronting and robotic. Both tragic and beautiful. And definitely worth a watch.

Don’t let this stop you from watching the entire film though.

Samsara is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and is the point of departure for the filmmakers as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. Filmed over a period of almost five years and in twenty-five countries, Samsara transports us to sacred grounds, disaster zones, industrial sites, and natural wonders. By dispensing with dialogue and descriptive text, Samsara subverts our expectations of a traditional documentary, instead encouraging our own inner interpretations inspired by images and music that infuses the ancient with the modern.

Hamburger Helper Album Cover

Hamburger Helper Wins April Fools

Yeah yeah yeah, I know, you think April Fools Day on the internet sucks. I get it, most attempts at authentic humor by major brands fall flat, are completely annoying, or even potentially harmful. And Paul Ford is right when he says, “As the number of users (of a service or product) increases, humor opportunities approach zero.” It’s true, laughter does not scale. And most attempts by major brands to appear to be authentically funny on funny day, just end up not being that funny.

However, that doesn’t mean all attempts aren’t funny, or at least enjoyable, even by the most jaded of internet denizens. Comedy is hard. Very hard. But if it’s good it doesn’t matter the size of the audience. This year, General Mill’s Hamburger Helper bucked the trend by dropping a surprisingly great mix on SoundCloud. I love this. Yo Glove, turn up!!

Banksy NYC Stall

Selling Banksy’s Art

Since October 1st, elusive street artist Banksy has been leaving his mark in New York during a month-long residency called “Better Out Than In“. This weekend, as part of his live exhibition, Banksy set up a stall in Central Park where an unknown man sold “100% authentic original signed Banksy canvases” to the general public for $60 each. The stall contained about 25 spray art canvasses – eight paintings were sold (two were bargained down to $30 each).

Banksy NYC StallPhoto courtesy of Banksy.

For comparison, in 2007 Banksy’s work “Space Girl & Bird” was purchased for $576,000, and in 2008 his canvas “Keep it Spotless” was sold for $1,870,000. The BBC estimates the pieces sold yesterday could be worth as much as $31,000 each. Accompanying video can be seen on BanksyNY youtube account.

Child Hunger: Watching Wal-Mart At Midnight

Historical US Poverty Rate
source: US Census Bureau Current Population Reports

This is what a rising poverty level looks like. Bill Simon (Head of Wal-Mart operations) says more Americans paying necessary goods with government assistance. The desperation in the U.S. consumer can be seen in their current buying behaviors.

The paycheck cycle we’ve talked about before remains extreme.

And you need not go further than one of our stores on midnight at the end of the month. And it’s real interesting to watch, about 11 p.m., customers start to come in and shop, fill their grocery basket with basic items, baby formula, milk, bread, eggs, and continue to shop and mill about the store until midnight, when electronic — government electronic benefits cards get activated and then the checkout starts and occurs. And our sales for those first few hours on the first of the month are substantially and significantly higher.

And if you really think about it, the only reason somebody gets out in the middle of the night and buys baby formula is that they need it, and they’ve been waiting for it. Otherwise, we are open 24 hours — come at 5 a.m., come at 7 a.m., come at 10 a.m. But if you are there at midnight, you are there for a reason. And we have to look at that and we have to watch that and we have a commitment to serve those customers who need that. And we are very, very focused on that.

I think this says a lot about the tepid U.S. economic recovery (or lack thereof). You can download a full transcript of the the talk Simon gave at the Goldman Sachs Retail Conference last week.

Rocks The Mic

I have noticed that recently, a lot of the indie bands that I have discovered for myself – I say for myself because nobody I know listens to these bands, I hope you do because they’re rockin’ – are starting to show up on television. I first noticed this when I Am The World Trade Center had a portion of a song played on The Surreal Life. A couple of weeks ago I saw a song by one of my favorite indie bands, Papas Fritas, on a Dyntyne Ice commercial. I mention this only because a great band called Brassy is playing at the Bluebird tonight. Brassy currently has a song that is being played on a Motorola commercial. For all you in Denver with nothing to do tonight, go check it out. Muffin Spencer, younger sister of Jon Spencer (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion) rocks the mic and it’s bound to be a great show. I’ll make it if I can.