The AFTERLIFE EPITAPH – Feb. 16th, 2009 #14, Vol.1

The AFTERLIFE Epitaph is published every Monday. Don’t miss and issue or you might have to scroll down a bit!

Happy President’s Day to the guys on the money. Gone but not forgotten. The presidents, I mean…maybe.

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Quotes from the deceased

Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

~ Steve Jobs

(Okay, so Jobs is still alive…for now!) – JS

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Eulogy to The AFTERLIFE

“I just caught up on the Epitaph.  I had missed a few weeks. You really are an evil genius.” – Robyn M. Feller – Writer, Editor, Researcher, One Smart Feller Editorial Services

Aw, shucks! No one ever used the word, “genius” for me before. -JS

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Zum-thing really great!

Zumbox is an interesting e-mail start-up based on the company’s capability to create an electronic mailbox for every residential physical address in the United States.

The idea is that companies that send our paper statements–banks, utility companies, and so on–can now send those documents electronically. The benefits include lower environmental impact, security, and archivability of the messages. More importantly, service providers already know their customers’ physical addresses. They can start delivering messages to users immediately, instead of trying to gather their customers’ e-mail coordinates.

To sign up for the service, consumers go to Zumbox, enter their physical address, and then wait for a physical letter to arrive with their Zumbox PIN. That closes the loop between online user and home address, and is used to unlock their electronic mailbox.

Billing companies don’t have to wait for consumers to connect to the service before they start using it. The idea is that they just start sending their electronic print runs of bills and such to Zumbox, which then files messages in mailboxes waiting for consumers to activate their accounts.

Once customers sign into an account, they can then–for each biller sending them statements–optionally turn off the paper delivery they’ve been getting. Zumbox can alert users’ preexisting e-mail accounts when they have new statements ready for them.

The consumer advantage over getting regular e-mail from a biller? It’s a central, secure clearinghouse for bills, and it’s archived at the Zumbox site. For the biller, the big advantage, as I said, is setup, since they already know their customers’ physical addresses.

 

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A load of Bushido!

 It is a little known fact that Samurai also carried umbrellas. Much as they later had to disguise their swords as canes, so they disguised their umbrellas as swords. In fact, there was one skilled umbrella maker who all the Samurai relied on for their Sword Handle Umbrellas. His name has been buried in the sands of time, but his plans have been preserved. And now, it is with great pleasure that we offer to you, the “Samurai Sword Handle Umbrella.”

Glide it out of its nylon sheath. Hold it by its space-age plastic handle. Feel the balance. This is the umbrella you never knew you always wanted. No one will mess with you with this slung across your back, and even the rain will shudder when you pull it out. For, apart from looking unbelievably awesome, the “Samurai Sword Handle Umbrella” is a dang fine umbrella. It will keep you dry and the envy of your friends. Precipitation doesn’t stand a chance! 

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See the light

Forget lamps. Forget mood lighting. Forget wall decoration. Forget…uh, I forgot. They only take up space, and sooner or later, you get tired of looking at them. The dutch designer, Jonas Samson, has come up with a better idea. His design, the light emitting wallpaper, solves the question of mood lighting and decoration. The device can also be turned off, so it can look like average wallpaper.

Imagine billboards, bus signs, etc. being made with this technology!?

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A font of knowledge!

The AFTERLIFE is one of those places where we try to collect every font in creation. We’ve seen it all, or so we thought. Here’s a few we didn’t expect.

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Fans of political figures and those who wish to forge checks for Harry Truman’s account will be happy to know there is also a new line of presidential handwriting fonts. Politician identity theft just got a whole lot easier!

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And now, fans of the old fontographer application, there’s a free app for creating fonts you can get online. check out http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/

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USB-spectin’ more jump drives?

Well, then why settle for just a regular 2GB storage device when it also has built in mini Post It notes, and can store up to 100 mini Post It sheets.

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Yes, play with your food!

Everybody remembers Wooly Willy (sometimes known as Dapper Dan) – that bald little fellow with all the iron filings that you could drag into really bad hairdos!

Well Dan is now in a new home on a Food Face plate, made from hotel-quality, food-safe, high-fire ceramics. So now you can play with your food and give Willy/Dan a whole new look. Bring on the mash-potatoes and peas…the possibilities are endless! Just be careful with the sausages…there may be kids around.

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Owies get some ZOWIE!

The major change in bandages over the past few decades have only been in the material from which they are made and the addition of licensed characters to make them more badges of honor to kids (and some adults…or so I hear, ahem!)

Well move over little pink strips! Available here and there on the web, there are some great, die-cut bandages that will make even the sanest person start cutting themselves on purpose (not just screwed up teenagers!).

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(A note to AFTERLIFE staff: as of tomorrow, there will be no more Exacto knive allowed in the office).

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Don’t bug me!

People will stop and do a double take when you pass by wearing these ear buds! So what if people think you have flies crawling out of your ears? Why listen to good music with the same ordinary, boring ear buds that everyone else uses? Stand out! Put the “STINK” in diSTINCtive!

Compatible with devices with a standard 3.5 mm headphone socket. Works with MP3 Players, PDA, Portable gaming systems and laptop computers.

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When it’s time to ring in a new era

If you’ve ever felt that watches are just too chunky for your delicate wrists, then this is a concept you will be looking out for: the Digitus ring. Designed by Charles Windlin, this smart piece of jewelry incorporates 1710 micro-spheres consisting of part magnetic and part decorative material.

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The Digitus ring can thus be turned towards any direction and still display the time to its delighted holder. Additional data that may be generated on the innovative display include personal calendar information or even the artsy pattern of your preference. Imagine your company logo and message programed into this ring!

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This book is a scam!

We’ve all gotten the pleas from Africa that we can get millions of dollars by working with some attorney who represents some dead family that left their money to someone with our name (for the life of me, I don’t know what family would share the name The AFTERLIFE, but apparently there are LOTS of them!)

The book “Cry for Help: 36 Scam email messages from Africa,” by Henning Wagenbreth, documents several horror stories experienced by people who had bad enough judgment to fall for such scams.

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Wagenbreth adds illustrations to 36 of his favourite e-mail hoaxes, thereby turning them into rather twisted works of art!

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Bjork-ing up the wrong tree.

While the headline has nothing to do with this story about a Swedish direct mail campaign, I had to do it because I might never get a chance for a Swedish pun ever again.

When Swedish real estate firm, Christer Magnusson opened a new office outside Stockholm and wanted to spread the word around the neighborhood, they help an open house “Welcome” party.

By placingt actual sized welcome mats with the information printed on the other side in front of neighbor’s doors, they garnered  a 30% attendance among neighbors at the open house. 

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Book ’em, Dan-o!

If you’re like me, you have way too many books and precious little room. Well, now those symbols of a dying medium can serve a better purpose than just impressing people who believe you are a voracious reader.

Some author who can afford three names has given bibliophiles (tome-maniacs?) some ideas for those stacks of bound paper. If that doesn’t do it, there are pieces of mounting hardware and furniture to help you out.

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Interactive ads are very touching!

Everyone loves to play, so interactive ads have gained momentum over the past couple of years. There’s some great and odd stuff out there.

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Created by Kara Grey of the Tequila Advertising Agency in New Zealand, this innovative billboard for Pedigree pet foods allows people to play with a virtual puppy while they are waiting for their bus.

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The brainchild of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, a number of UK bus shelters have been transformed into interactive gaming stations which invite travelers to bash as many digital falling eggs as they can in 20 seconds, in order to release their creamy goop.

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Remember how fun it was writing on casts when the class jocks (or klutzes) busted their arms? This billboard ad for Sharpie permanent markers builds on that fascination by encouraging people to write on the giant white e-cast. 

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This ad for Korea University’s Institute of Foreign Languages is a hoot! I love the fun and clever approach they use to get people to register and learn a new language. By pulling out the tongue-shaped lier, potential students can see themselves learning a foreign language. The tagline reads, “Get the native tongue.” 

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MAD Magazine never had a fold in like this (if they did, they might not be cutting back to a quarterly publishing schedule from monthly). Wonderbra grabbed the center spread and by pulling the attached strings, it give you a demonstration of how the bra model, well, you know. Probably not a great idea for advertising Viagra, but there are some other uses I can imagine.

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Tattoos that can save your life

Yes, a gang tattoo might save your life if you have to stroll through Bloods territory to and from work, but, at least in this case, Draper Laboratories of Massachusetts has developed a color-changing nanoparticle tattoo ink that can help diabetes patients monitor their glucose levels.

Heather Clark, a scientist at Draper, says that the nanoparticle tattoo wouldn’t have to be terribly large to be effective for diabetes patients: “It doesn’t have to be a large, over-the-shoulder kind of tattoo. It would only have to be a few millimeters in size and wouldn’t have to go as deep as a normal tattoo.”

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Get the bloody message across

Public bathrooms are becoming an increasingly popular target for advertising. The latest is a guerrilla bathroom campaign to promote the second season of Dexter on the FX channel in Portugal. The campaign uses a blood-red dye in urinals to produce a blood-like flush. The campaign catches people off-guard (literally with their pants down) and stays true to Dexter’s trademark of excessive blood and gore.

This is probably not the venue for introducing the new Coke-a-Cola flavor.

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There are many unique ways to get your message across and make it stick in people’s minds. Every day, new technology has some application and even good ol’ imagination can create something wonderful in the place of bells and whistles. 

Here at The AFTERLIFE, we pride ourselves on using whatever is available and within your budget. Whatever it is you can afford, we promise more bang for your buck.

Jonathan Schneider – Archangel of Creativity
The AFTERLIFE 

Yes, bang my buck!

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