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Thursday, December 22, 2005

What Would John Sculley Say? 

How to Surf, by O. Emperor. Not a doctor, not an oba, and certainly not a saint.

Starting at a Buzzmachine post entitled "There's a reason models look bored," I left a comment and read another one, ending up at Mamutong, then at anina.net, which offers proof that there are models that are techno-savvy. Let me tell you about Anina:

height 1,76
bust 83
waist 61
hips 89
shoe 39
dress 36

This tells me nothing, because I'm a dumb American. First impressions are that this is one of them Lane Bryant models. 61 waist? 89 hips? Dove Campaign for Massive Beauty? But of course, I'm not that dumb of an American, although I'll need to engage in huge calculations if I ever buy clothes in foreign countries.

Back to Anina. Her site has a collection of videos, including one entitled "Milan Italy Test Commercial." Her description:

I got to play a softdrink pusher-- i ran for 16 hours straight from the "police".

The video shows a Coca Cola-dominated world in which Anina and a man are running from the authorities. After they are caught and arrested, the words "Pepsi Resistance" appear on the screen, along with the web URL www.pepsiresistance.com, which is inactive and not even registered.

The song, by the way, is Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's "Whatever Happened to My Rock N Roll," which can be heard (in part) at this Newsweek site. The song (from 2002) is reviewed at BBC Manchester:

In simple terms, and you don't get much simpler than two guitars and a set of drums, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are one of the most exciting bands around at the moment.

Not only are the epitome of American cool with their black leathers and sunglasses, they make an awesome sound, of which there is no better example than Rock 'N' Roll.

This might be a reissue but it still sounds as fresh and action packed as ever, surging across a non-stop assault of sound, filling ever space with feedback, aggression, riffs, bass and above all one of the best songs you'll hear all year.

If you've somehow avoided BRMC so far, then take this as lesson number one. You will not be disappointed.

The Wikipedia article indicates that the band originated in San Francisco, and that one of the members originally used a pseudonym for Wallflowers-like reasons.

A far cry from the Pepsi Generation, but Anina's video has some parallels with 1984.

So what does Wikipedia say about the ex-Pepsi, ex-Apple man John Sculley?

The neutrality of this article is disputed.

Please see discussion on the talk page.

I'll say. The article doesn't mention his successes at Pepsi, his early successes at Apple (marketing and otherwise), or his championing of hypertext technologies. But it does devote some time to Sculley's endorsement of The Wine Clip:

Andy Blue (Famous Wine Critic), Mary Ewing Mulligan (Master of Wine), Leslie Sbracco (Author: "Wine for Women"), and John Sculley (Former CEO of Apple and Pepsi) all agree that The Wine Clip improves the taste of wine.
John Sculley
Former CEO of Pepsi and Apple
Investor in The Wine Clip

"I was asked to take a wine tasting to determine if there was a difference when using The Wine Clip. I could sense a considerable difference. So much so that I invested in the company."
The Wine Clip uses principles of magnetics to improve the taste of wine as it is being poured out of the bottle. The effect is instantaneous, and has been found by many wine professionals to result in a genuine improvement in flavor and mouthfeel, especially when used on red wines.
Using magnets to treat fluids – water, fuel, wine, etc. - is not a new idea, and the technology has been applied successfully in many industries. What causes the effect has been the subject of some debate, but it is generally thought that passing a conductive fluid through a properly designed magnetic field has an effect on the polar molecules in the fluid.

In wine, it is believed that the large, polymerized tannins in wine that normally result in a high degree of astringency are broken up or otherwise affected, resulting in a less astringent, “softer” flavor.

The Wine Clip may also accelerate aeration, by drawing higher concentrations of oxygen to the wine as it is being poured. In contrast with most gases, oxygen is highly magnetically susceptible, and is attracted to a magnetic field. This would explain testimony from wine experts that The Wine Clip instantly produces the benefits of time consuming aeration.

Ah, a twenty-first century version of the Pepsi taste test. But not everyone gets the same result:

The testees were primed by the very nature of the test to expect differences between the wines; they commented afterwards that they were trying to find them. So it's not surprising that they did.

When people actually had "different" samples - one Clipped, one not - they perceived a difference between them 83% of the time (10 times out of the 12 non-fake sample pairs). However, exactly half of those results preferred the Clipped wine, and half preferred the un-Clipped wine. This is exactly what you'd expect if the Clip did nothing and they were only imagining a difference.

In the four cases, one for each taster, when they had "identical" samples - both Clipped, or both not - they still perceived a difference 50% of the time.

Someone else performed a test:

I gathered a crack team of tasters - a food scientist with extensive experience in flavour evaluation, a wine judge and an ex-science teacher - and we blind-tested the clip out on three wines: an under-$10 shiraz cabernet, a $30 pinot noir, and a $70 (very tannic) cabernet. A fourth person poured each wine in three glasses: two without the clip, the third through the magnets. The tasters were asked to see whether they could pick which wine was different - if at all. It was like being on Sesame Street (sing with me: "One of these things is not like the other ...").

So, does The Wine Clip, as one of its satisfied customers tells us on the web site, "make the most modestly priced bottle of wine taste like it's a smooth vintage classic."? The short answer is no. Only one of us - the food scientist - reckoned she tasted a slight but discernible difference in what turned out to be the magnetised example of two out of the three wines; the rest of us either saw no difference at all, or, if we did, found it in one of the un-magnetised glasses (go figure). Certainly no agreement, no dramatic changes, no conclusive proof.

Apparently The Wine Clip people need to get a hard-driving rock song in the background video.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

yeah it was a test commercial...ie they tried to propose it to coke but it was too radical for them...but still, the director was a genious and i love the video...but man...after i could not walk for 3 days!
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