This is probably what The Bloggess would categorize as Spectacular Marketing Fail. Or maybe Exceptional PR Blunder. Anyway, when you’re trying to sell something, or in this case, give it away for free, remember the first rule of sales: Know Thy Audience.
Geoff and I were watching an episode of Criminal Minds the other night and a super familiar thing happened. It’s something that happens a lot on TV and it always makes me roll my eyes, but this time it irritated me enough to make me want to come here and get all science-ranty about it.
I should probably say before I get started that I genuinely like Criminal Minds and that I’ve been watching it off and on since Season 1. This problem is not specific to any particular show but to all TV and Movies that need a Big Scary Bug and science be damned.
Btw, there are photos of bugs after the jump. Lots of them. You have been warned.
The first is the kind that I read and/or watch. Stuff like The Walking Dead comics, or Mira Grant’s awesome Newsflesh trilogy of novels, or movies like Deep Impact, and even video games like Left4Dead 2 and Fallout 3. I guess the thing I find most interesting is seeing how people adapt. It’s compelling drama. And while I find it entertaining, it does have a certain amount of practical value if it makes emergency preparedness a little less dull, as even the CDC has discovered.
Then there’s the other kind. The kind that makes seemingly ordinary people lose their minds, because they think it’s real.
Science is important. It is something that both Kelly and I take quite seriously. It’s one if the reasons Kelly has worked as a science educator for a decade, and one of the reasons why even some of our hobbies involve a lot of science. We feel quite passionately about it.
And it’s also why we both get so frustrated about the problems with scientific literacy in America – demonstrated by things like this survey that shows the gaps between scientists and the public when it comes to views of science. And if you want to see scientific ignorance displayed in all its factually-challenged glory, and I mean some truly godawful stuff, just turn on a television.
Anyone who knows me well knows that when it comes to football, I am decidedly… meh. I just never got into the sport the way that so many other people (like Kelly) have. Baseball is another story. I love it. Even hockey and soccer are sports I care WAY more about than football. But still, I look forward to whenever the Pats go the Superbowl, because that inevitably means people I know will be throwing great parties with lots of beer, wings, and general awesomeness.
So this year the upcoming
wingstravaganza Superbowl party seems to be dominated by talk about this mess regarding the slight under-inflation of footballs. And frankly, I am a bit puzzled by the whole thing.
The Cambridge City Council has voted in a policy order to make known that they are opposed to the 2024 Boston Olympic bid. I get the impression that no one in the group to bring the 2024 Olympics to Boston thought to discuss their plan with surrounding communities to feel the waters, so to speak.
I cannot believe that any serious person would think that hosting the 2024 Olympics here in Boston is a good idea. And with such a relatively small window to prepare, it is quite unrealistic. In fact, it is hands down one of the dumbest ideas I have heard put forth in a long time.
Where would we put it all?
Yes, I know Kelly has talked about this already, but I have to throw in my own two cents worth, because this is something that has actually gotten me quite a bit fired up and angry. It is yet another case of the privileged few dictating to everyone else.
I’ll tell you right up front as I start this that I’m as much of a fan of First Night here in Boston as I am of the 4th of July. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that I hate the crowds and accompanying stupidity for both just as much, but what the 4th stands for matters more to me. And, I’ve never been able to figure out why they call the celebration of the last night of the year First Night.
Anyway, New Year’s Eve here in Boston is celebrated with a giant city-wide party. You can buy a button that will get you into all kinds of things for free. There are concerts, ice sculptures, fireworks, skating, dancing, face painting, puppet shows, museums, all sorts of things. The list is almost endless and it is entirely impossible to do it all in one evening. This has been happening as long as I’ve been living here and, though it nearly went bankrupt and stopped happening a year or so ago, it is back with a vengeance now.
Enter politicians and police to screw it all up.