Cartography Catastrophe – Continued

Following the outcry in Israel after the Eurovision Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal, in which Israel was the only country whose map was not shown prior to its song, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the Norwegian hosts of this year’s contest to convey their message. During tonight’s final the Israeli map was indeed shown – albeit missing the west bank. Sources in the MFA told Ynet that they insisted Israel “will be shown as a country with borders, and not some amorphous entity”.

Graphics shown in the ESC’s 2nd semifinal::
ESC 2010 - 2nd semifinal - Israel
Graphics shown in the ESC’s final::
ESC 2010 - Final - Israel

I realize that all this might seem like some kind of a bizarre Rorschach inkblot test, making too much out of a graphical element, but I think flags, anthems and maps are important symbols of independence, and it seems every now and again someone figures Israel is fair game.

Cartography Catastrophe

Did you watch the European Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal last night? Did you notice it? It came and went really fast, but did you manage to notice how Israel was wiped off the map?

Before each live performance a short video clip about the participating country was shown, but right before that video some on-screen graphics created the map of each country. Yes, each country but one: Israel.
Right before Harel Skaat took to the stage, the same yellow graphics that filled the screen for each other country, that graphics was now squished to the side and quickly disappeared.

Did the 62 years old Jewish nation get the shaft? Did The Jew Among Nations got the regular treatment? Serbia, a country that got its independence less than 4 years ago got similar treatment in the 1st semifinal; Does that fact make it better or worse?

Here’s the video (Don’t blink during the first few seconds):


Screen captures for each participating county after the jump:
Continue reading Cartography Catastrophe

HuffPo’s Subliminal Messages? You Betcha!

Visiting today’s homepage of the Huffington Post one could see two different Sarah Palin articles, each sporting a different image of Alaska’s half-term governor with her hand raised. Now I’m not sure if this technically amounts to a subliminal message, but I am pretty certain HuffPo’s editors want to convey the message: “Memba her? She’s the moron with the cheat sheets“.
[singlepic id=273 w=525 h=235 float=center]
I tell ya, that Arianna Huffington sure knows how to lift American spirits.

What Killed The Eurovision Song Contest?

Back in 1999 the rules of the Eurovision Song Contest were changed, turning the popular musical contest into the joke that it is today. I expect you all to memorize these two rules that de-facto killed the ESC:
– The abolishment of the requirement of the host broadcaster to provide a live orchestra.
– The abolishment of the requirement that contestants sing in their own national language.

Now take a stroll down memory lane back to Sweden in 1985 where Izhar Cohen took 5th place with “Ole, Ole“. Apart from the brilliant colors and the joie de vivre, note Cohen yelling right before taking the stage, and a shrieking female backup singer.


My Candidates for WIZO’s Sexist Israeli Ads for 2010

After covering WIZO’s newest annual tradition of giving out a most-chauvinistic-ad award (2008, 2009), I thought I’d one-up myself and actually suggest a couple of ads for next year’s shaming ceremony. Following are two TV spots that caught my eye, one is gratuitously sexual in a let’s-find-an-excuse-for-leering kinda way:


Israeli Lottery – Gitam BBDO

The other is much less overt, much more complex, filled with misogynistic messages about work, kids, shoes and dieting:


Osem’s Lachmit whole wheat cracker – Gitam BBDO

I should probably mention that I have discussed these ads with a couple of female friends who did not see anything particularly shocking with these ads. They did note the ads’ sexist nature, they just didn’t think it was any different from most other Israeli ads.
Obviously, I disagree.

Hmm… Where Have I Reddit Before?!

Back in December 2007 I published a post about Quentin Tarantino’s trademark trunk shot camera angle, and took the time to scan through his entire filmography in order to publish 4 trunk shot frames, 3 reverse trunk shots, 1 hood shot and 1 reverse hood shot. Well, look what turned up on Reddit today? Looks like someone picked up where I left off:

[singlepic id=271 w=273 h=800 float=center] [singlepic id=272 w=206 h=800 float=center]
Tarantino’s Trunk Shot by Anonymous
May, 2010
Tarantino’s Trunk Shot by
December, 2007

Update: Apparently the 2010 version also popped up on Digg.

Back in Business

“Reports that say something hasn’t happened are interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”
  – – Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense, 2002

Update: was base64’d a second time on May 12, 2010. New insights at the bottom of this post.

[singlepic id=270 w=320 h=240 float=right]A few hours ago was injected with malicious code which redirected every visitor to a website that tries to trick people into downloading a fake antivirus program. Everything is fine now. If you are interested in such details after the jump is a summary of the incident, including why my hosting provider GoDaddy is awesome.
Continue reading Back in Business