Friday, 28 November 2008

How to stay awake...

Sometimes I think that sleep is a waste of time, 8 hours flittered away when they could be used for something productive, something useful, something beautiful. As the old ideal goes "there is never enough time yet we have all the time in the world". I normally go to sleep at 4am. After consulting the great Internet for more information about insomnia, I discovered that across the pond, it get's a little too hardcore for my taste. The following I copy/pasted from a forum about all-nighters with added notes...

Ways to stay up
1.If you can, get a prescription of Modafinil (Provigil). It's much easier on the body and mind than caffeine. (This drug is normally prescribed to narcoleptics and is used by the US military to effectively keep you awake for 72 hours without crashing...)

2. Drink large volumes of water, who ever fell asleep drinking or eating?

3. 20 min. fact naps <3 5 minutes (no rem sleep)...or in 90 minute cycles. 2 cycles are better than so 3 hours are great...but 4 hours are bad (you'll still in the sleep cycle, even if you're awake). better to get 3-4.5 hours a night...and two 20 minute naps during the day.

4. I have found caffeine pills (about 400 mg or so) work well for one or two days. (Medically, 300mg of caffeine is classified as an overdose).

5. Adderall, pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). (More pharmaceutical-grade drugs).

6. More caffeine. At one point, I resorted to instant coffee w/ hot tap water and snorting No-doze. Seemed like a good idea at the time. And whatever ambient music keeps you grooving without being too distracting.

7. I have never been one to do all nighters, but I had a friend who used to chew Nicorette gum and get all sorts of stuff done and he wasn't a smoker. He said that it helped him focus and also kept him alert, plus you don't get the smoking side effects.

8. I was a design student who frequently stayed up for multiple all-nighters. All of the above advice is great. I think NASA studied the problem and came up with something like 20 minute naps every four hours.

9. Caffeine patches...You want to look into nootropics.

10. The most popular seems to be Piracetam, often combined with Alpha GPC or something similar. Personally these mellow me out and make me less focused.

11. I like GABA, it's a safe neuroinhibitor. For me it 'clears' the fog, the effect takes just a few minutes, but only lasts for a few hours. I often find myself able to tolerate boring work, and find myself more focused on the task at hand. For many people it has the opposite effect, making them drowsy or even sleepy.

12. Sometimes at work I've been known to take two caffeine tablets followed by a quadruple espresso. Today I think I over did it though. After getting only a few hours sleep I've had a regular cup of instant, two caffeine tablets and then drank about a pot of brewed coffee.

There must be a degree of truth to all these statements as they appeared at ridiculous times like 3am and 5am (US East coastal time). Mostly they were law students or art students. But, not even i10 is that extreme, I'll stick to my coffee and ProPlus for the moment...

Art (TM) (C) (R)

Just watched the movie adaptation of Gustav Klimt's life and for some reason, Damian Hirst'sTM crystal skullTM popped into my head. I started thinking about what art truly represents and what it now represents in the 21st century. I think the difference would be obvious if you took a step back from all the hype surrounding art nowadays. To me (it may differ for others) art is a form of self-expression, a way to communicate the inner (or indeed exterior) feelings of an issue through something beautiful.

Gustav Klimt, The Kiss, circa 1907

But when you have lots of money...approach a jeweller (Bentley and Skinner of Bond Street in this case), throw your money at them...and expect a massive return of profits (as Hirst's business manager Frank expects), then what you have isn't art, it's a brand, no different from any other brand model attempting to sell a product in today's consumer market. It is disappointing to see other so called 'artist's' work this way. Don't get me wrong, the piece itself is a magnificent work of craftsmanship, but Hirst didn't make the damn thing and is getting every single piece of credit (and cash) for it. Hirst himself even said it was a silly idea. To me, it's a wonderful piece of craft, but that's it.

In the end, like most fashion (or any other product that may not have any rational benefit to it) you only pay for the brand name. It should be renamed, 'Bently and Skinner's skull', as Hirst merely provided the funding for it (and his business made anywhere between 35-41 million Pound's profit). Now my good you take cash or credit?

Is this the depressing future of art? Do people look beyond the beauty and just see pound signs glinting in their eyes? Some investment to be snapped up? What do you think? Watch this clip from 2:00 onwards to see my point...

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Comment: Credit crunch...what credit crunch?

(image courtesy of the Internet)

After months of (seemingly easy content filler) news about the 'credit crunch', economic doom and gloom is still polluting the newspapers and newsrooms, in a bid to keep us believing it's worse than it actually is. Over in Dubai however, it's as if nothing has actually happened as epitomised by this ridiculously huge (yet equally magnificent) opening ceremony for a hotel...

Other displays of oil-enriched wealth are hyper-luxury hotels that have sprung up *packs bag as he types this*...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

i10 Meets...

Earlier this evening i10 had the privilege to be able to speak to one of the advertising world's most prolific and well-known practitioners-stroke-guru Dave Trott in his London offices. It was a truly insightful evening as we chatted in the boardroom about advertising, market growth and philosophy. Dave was very knowledgeable about philosophic concepts that can benefit any enthusiastic student, including one relatively new one...'Trottism' (borrowed from Taoism).

One student caught sight of this parked outside the office...

Thank you for your hospitality and time Mr Trott, we only wish we knew shorthand when writing our notes (or at least took a Dictaphone), you are truly a metaphorical horn of plenty when it comes to advertising wisdom.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

The children are our future...aren't they?

After seeing the very recent Barnardos viral, depicting the metaphorical reenactment of actual quotes from news websites, already an 'anti' version of the ad has been found...with slightly more truthful and real-life footage. Here's the original...

And here's the 'anti' version (be warned, it's just as shocking as the original & contains expletives)...

This demonstrates the speed at which UGC can be manufactured and broadcast to the world, free from restriction. It looks as though this version was composed entirely of Internet-sourced clips, effectively creating a new meme from aging content and what could be dubbed as 'media-recycling'...

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

How to become president...

By entering the popular culture to such a degree, that memes begin to surface from the original content (despite the fact that some of it may be negative, as seen here by these memes of the famous Shepard Fairey 'Hope' poster, which I remember seeing dotted all over New York). This means that you have warranted enough attention from the public, especially young voters (as demonstrated by Obama's recent landslide win). Hopefully America can now heave itself from it's self-generated(?) economic crisis.

(The negative views expressed in some of these images are not those of i10).

Classic ad Mashups.

Love to bastardise the classics as a form of mild entertainment (still keeping their respect mind you). More to come methinks.

Comment: The names Brand...James Brand.

Saw the latest James Bond film and I must say...'why so serious?' On a serious note, I was on the hunt for the usual plugs and placements including an annoyingly obvious one which went something like this....

James (at bar): 'What am I drinking?'
Barman: 'It's got Vodka, Vermouth and Gordon's Gin in it'.

It's almost as bad as the Omega one in Die Another Day. Every single, possible, conceivable electronic product MUST be a Sony (but seeing as the film's distributor is owned by Sony I'm not surprised). Still, the film was really enjoyable and the fight scenes were unlike anything I've ever seen in a Bond film before. Go see it. But remember to turn off your brand new Sony phone, available in all good retail stores in time for Xmas....