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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pepsi To Cease Advertising

From the Onion:

'We Know It's Good, And That's Enough' Says CEO


PURCHASE, NY—PepsiCo sent shockwaves through the carbonated beverage industry Monday when the multibillion dollar corporation announced that it would cease all advertising of its popular soda product, effective immediately.

Enlarge Image Pepsi

A relic of Pepsi's past.

"We know it's good, and everyone's pretty happy with the overall taste, so why spend all our time worrying about what other people think?" PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi told reporters during a press conference at the company's corporate headquarters. "Frankly, it just feels sort of weird and desperate to put all this energy into telling people what to drink. If they don't like it, then they don't like it."

Added Nooyi, "That's not really any of our business anyway."

According to Nooyi, top PepsiCo brass held a series of meetings over the past several months before unanimously agreeing Monday that they all enjoyed Pepsi, and that the company's century-old history of massive, high-budget ad campaigns, cross-promotional tie-ins, merchandising, and Super Bowl halftime extravaganzas had been "a big mistake."

Executives then released a statement to shareholders declaring that PepsiCo is now "what it should have been all along: a company that just makes soda, and doesn't get caught up in trying to make everyone like it."

Enlarge Image Pepsi Last Billboard

Actually drinking Pepsi, not seeing expensive billboards, will tell people whether or not they like the product.

In response to a question about whether the elimination of Pepsi's marketing and advertising divisions would hurt the company's ability to compete with rival soda manufacturer Coca-Cola, Nooyi expressed no concern.

"Vying for the greatest market share shouldn't be a soft drink company's be-all and end-all," said Nooyi, who added that if she's happy at the end of the day, that's what really matters. "After all, it's not like this is some kind of Cola War or anything."

"Look, Coca-Cola is a terrific product," Nooyi continued. "Millions of people choose it over Pepsi every day. Are those people wrong? Of course not. Concepts like 'right' and 'wrong' shouldn't even apply. It's a soft drink."

Nooyi told reporters the company's $1.3 billion annual advertising budget would be put into Pepsi's savings account, spread among various charitable organizations, and divvied up into generous bonuses for the company's minimum-wage factory employees.

Claiming that "taste is subjective," Nooyi further stated that those who hadn't already heard of Pepsi were unlikely to begin drinking it now, and that the company was perfectly content to rely on word of mouth to sell its product.

"You can't taste an ad, anyway," Nooyi said. "People are going to make up their own minds regardless of whether we spend millions trying to inform them that Taylor Swift drinks Pepsi. I mean, seriously, does it really matter if Taylor Swift drinks Pepsi? She's just a human being like everybody else."

Concluding the press conference, Nooyi stated that she wasn't even sure why she was talking about any of this in the first place, asked the assembled reporters whether they didn't have better uses for their time, and suggested that everybody just go home, hug their loving spouses, and play—really, truly play—with their children before life passes them by.

"Hey, there's a slogan for you," Nooyi said. "Spend more time with your families."

Nontraditional Jobs That Pay $100K

by John Rossheim
Monster Senior Contributing Writer
Nontraditional Jobs That Pay $100K

It's no secret that doctors, lawyers, traders and senior executives at large corporations typically earn six figures or more. But where are the $100,000 jobs for the rest of us -- the 140 million American workers who lack the inclination, the aptitude or the tolerance for student debt to go for the classic big-money careers?

It turns out that in the 2000s, there are quite a number of six-figure occupations. Here are just a few worth your consideration:

Technology

Developing nations may graduate more engineers than the United States, but we've still got enough jobs to keep salaries generous, at least in some specialties. Electrical engineers earned an average of $112,000 in 2005, according to the Employment Policy Foundation. Engineering managers earned a median salary of $97,000 in 2004, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"There's an absolute dearth of talent with three to five years of experience" in interactive specialties such as Web design, information architecture and usability, says Allison Hemming, president of staffing firm Hired Guns.

Senior Web producers can earn $85,000 to $110,000. "Interactive feels very 1999 right now," Hemming says. "It's a real opportunity for people who may have left the field and come back or are just out of college."

Can production workers approach six figures? They can if they're in the right high tech specialty. According to Jack Dolmat-Connell, president of compensation consulting firm DolmatConnell & Partners, some semiconductor fab technicians can make up to $90,000 with overtime.

Financial Services

Professionals involved in the provision of bread-and-butter financial services –- not just those ensconced on Wall Street -- often earn six figures. "Producers [salespeople] in insurance and branch managers -- those can average $120,000 to $125,000," says Dolmat-Connell.

Real estate may be suffering from an overabundance of new entrants, but long-term prospects for high earnings in pricey markets are still bullish. Real estate agent -– that's one of those quiet little jobs where you can make a boatload of money," says Bill Coleman, senior vice president for compensation at Salary.com. An agent who participates in the sale of 12 or 14 half-million-dollar homes per year -- easy to do in big-money markets like the Northeast -- is likely to hit $100,000 in commissions.

Entertainment and Hospitality

Can a worker ascend from burger flipper to six-figure earner? Not every day, but it happens. Restaurant managers can earn $100,000 at high-end restaurants and resorts," says Coleman.

For those who live near a casino, big earnings may be within reach, even without a college education. "The top 25 percent of casino pit managers earn over $100,000, with just high school and five years of experience," says Dolmat-Connell.

Security and Hazard Duty

Run-of-the-mill security guards generally earn low pay, but well-placed security professionals can do much better. "Security guards for celebrities can earn six figures," says Coleman. These jobs are concentrated in New York and Los Angeles, but sports superstars may have security based in their teams' hometowns.

Less-glamorous gigs can pay equally well, if work conditions warrant a premium. Oil rig workers must cope with hazardous and remote work sites, so high-ranking crew members earn up to $100,000.

Government

If you're a six-figure aspirant, the federal government may be one of the last employers to come to mind. But Uncle Sam is looking for thousands of professionals at this level each year.

"Retirement rates for midlevel managers are high; more and more, the government is hiring people from the outside directly into management," says Kathryn Troutman, Monster's Federal Career Coach.

And middle-management jobs in government may be better compensated than their private-sector counterparts. "Midrange professional salaries are much higher, and the flexibility and benefits are much better," says Troutman. These jobs generally fall into the GS-14 and GS-15 grade levels.

Here are just a few of the federal jobs that can pay $100,000 or more, according to USAJOBS:

Check out job opportunities on Monster.

Spain's Goth First Daughters Embarrass, Embarrassed By Dad


Here's Barack and Michelle Obama with Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his family. The State Department uploaded it to Flickr. (What an unlikely sentence!) Whoops—no one in Spain has ever seen Zapatero's Goth daughters before!

According to Zapatero, Spanish law allows him to prevent the Spanish media from running any photographs of his 16 and 13-year-old daughters Laura and Alba. For their privacy, see. And because maybe it would be considered weird for the PM to have goth daughters, but it totally shouldn't be. It is a natural part of life, becoming a teenaged goth.

Click to enlarge this charming family portrait.

European Airline Brings Back the Smoking Section

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It’s been a long time since passengers have been allowed to smoke on an airliner in the United States. It’s the same story in Europe. But now the smoking crowd across the Atlantic have an option when the nicotine comes calling.

Ireland-based Ryanair is selling smokeless cigarettes on all the company’s flights. Ryanair says a survey showed more than 24,000 passengers would like the option to smoke during flights and that was enough of an incentive in these lean times to try and gain some market share as well as some extra income. So as long as you’re at least 18 years old, the company will sell you a pack of smokeless smokes for 6 euro (about $8.75).

Ryanair is a discount airlines that flies throughout Europe and North Africa and is no stranger to using a gimmick to bring in some business. The company says the cigarettes can’t be lit and deliver the nicotine through inhalation.

For those who fear the old days when the difference between the smoking section on an airplane and the non-smoking section was simply whichever way the air was flowing inside the cabin, the smokeless cigarettes do not emit any toxins or chemicals to nearby passengers. Company spokesman Stephen McNamara believes when smokers can get their nicotine, everybody wins, “as these cigarettes are smokeless, they cause no discomfort to other passengers and can ensure a more enjoyable and stress-free flight for all passengers as non-smokers will no longer have to cope with moody smokers in need of nicotine.”

Photo: Ron Layters/Flickr

Seti: The hunt for ET

Scientists have been searching for aliens for 50 years, scanning the skies with an ever-more sophisticated array of radio telescopes and computers. Known as Seti, the search marks its half-century this month. Jennifer Armstrong and Andrew Johnson examine its close – and not so close – encounters


Scientists have been searching for aliens for 50 years

Rex

Scientists have been searching for aliens for 50 years

    The 11 Most Badass Fan-Made Lightsaber Fights

    Published by Madison

    lightsaber-duel.JPG

    Back in 1977, Star Wars provided some of the most amazing visual effects anyone had ever seen in a movie. The effects still hold up rather well today, including the cool, glowing look of the lightsaber. The thing is, the visual effects have become pretty easy to reproduce, so much so that even amateurs can do it.

    We’ve all messed around with our friends and had lightsaber fights, and now thanks to modern technology, we can make the lightsabers look “read” and add our very own sound effects to sync with the action. And thanks to YouTube, those lightsaber fights can be filmed and shared with the world. Some of these fan-made fights are very impressive, as you’ll see after the jump. Enjoy the 10 most badass fan-made lightsaber fights.*

    *Hat tip to reader “zero.”

    Ryan vs. Dorkman:

    Ryan vs. Dorkman 2:

    Concrete Hustle:

    Rescue at Mos Koesta:

    Theft of the Viridian Crystal:

    Ryan vs. Brandon:

    Ryan vs. Brandon 2:

    Symphony of Sabers:

    Garage Warfare:

    Duel of the Invincibles:

    *Bon us, from reader “Hyuri:” Art of the Saber:



    And my personal Favorite:

    "United Slaves Of America" THE SALT DEPARTMENT feat. MASTER DARIUS vs. LORD DESTINY
    performed live in the summer of 2007 in Vienna/Austria at "Planet Music" and "U4"

    ( including "making of" at 5:20 with MASTER DARIUS vs LORD DESTINY )

    This song is not ment to be critical about the citizens of America, but a protestsong against the government that ruled the "big one" - and so the whole world - from the years 2000 to 2008

    Weird, Wonderful & Amazing Beaches of the World

    Here at Simonseeks we thought it would be fun to look at some beaches around the world that stand out from the crowd with weird and wonderful features rather than just the usual sun worshipping crowds. Take a look at some of the amazing photos below and feel free to suggest others in the comments.

    Although not the sort of beach suitable for sun lovers one of the most stunning beaches we've seen is at Jokulsarlon, South East Iceland. Here the black sand is littered with giant ice boulders which travel down river from a glacial lagoon before washing up on the beach.

    Despite being not very good for a quiet spot of sunbathing the beach below is probably the best beach in the world for plane spotting. The stretch of sand next to St Martin airport in the Caribbean. Beachgoers regularly get blown off their feet by passing 747's.

    In complete contrast to the tranquil shores of Iceland & the Caribbean is Haeundae Beach in South Korea which becomes crowded with over 100,000 people on a sunny summers day.

    There are a few red sand beaches around the world but none as stunning as Kaihalulu beach on the Island of Maui. The red sand here comes from nearby cindercone hill.

    Kaihalulu Maui

    75 Mile Beach on Australia's Fraser Island is famous not just for it's size but for the fact that it's a motorway and an official runway as well. Sunbathers are advised to be careful of passing cars and coaches as well as the numerous planes that land every day!

    75 Mile Beach, Fraser Island

    Of course not every spectacular photo is natural, some are most certainly unnatural such as this giant cargo ship on a beach somewhere.

    Beached cargo ship

    Not for the faint hearted is Mission Beach, Australia with a tropical rain forest spilling out onto the sand. In the evening thousands of tiny sand bubbler crabs cover every inch of the entire length of beach with tiny balls of sand.

    Sand balls covering Mission Beach

    Sand balls covering Mission Beach

    Sand bubbler crab on Mission Beach

    One of the most spectacular effects we've seen is where a waterfall flows down onto the beach and into the sea. The photos below from Azenhas do Mar in Portugal, McWay Falls and Sandcut Beach show this effect perfectly.

    McWay Falls

    Sandcut Beach

    Azenhas do Mar

    Another beach in Southern Iceland is this beauty with jet black sand covered by crashing white surf and the stunning Love of black sand image taken at Reynisdrangar, Iceland.

    Black sandy beach in Iceland

    Reynisdrangar Iceland

    China’s Qingdao Huiquan Beach is probably very nice but you can't see it under the hoards of people who flock to the seaside every weekend.

    Qingdao Huiquan Beach

    Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands is 5km long and thanks to an undersea fault line is made entirely of silica. The sand is literally talcum powder fine and is used by NASA to make their telescopes.

    Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays

    For those of you who prefer a bit of luxury on a beach holiday why not pay a visit to Hot water beach, New Zealand. Holiday makers dig holes in the sand which fill up with water from underground hot springs giving a nice warm bath all year round.

    Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

    If you want to see black sand and Iceland is a bit too cold then why not try Punalu'u Beach in Hawaii where volcanic rock is broken down by the ocean. Rumour has it that anybody who takes even a grain of sand away from the beach is cursed by a volcano goddess by the name of Pele.

    Punalu'u Beach, Hawaii

    Hyams beach in Jervis Bay, New South Wales holds the honour of having the Guiness world record for having the worlds whitest sand.

    Hymans Beach

    One of the strangest beaches we found was Papakolea Beach in Hawaii one of only two green sand beaches in the world. The green colouring comes from the abundance of olivine crystals which have been produced as a result of a nearby cinder cone erupting and eroding.

    Papakolea Beach green sand

    One of the worlds few multi-colour beaches is Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California. Thanks to the nearby hills being rich in Manganese Garnet the sand washed down onto the beach give a beautiful shifting, pink and purple canvas.

    Pfeiffer beach

    If you know of any more weird or wonderful beaches to add to the list then please add your suggestions in the comments below.

    Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds: woman who inspired Beatles song dies

    Lucy O'Donnell, the woman who inspired the classic Beatles song Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, has died aged 46.


    Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Beatles album cover: BEATLES' 'LUCY IN THE SKY' DIES
    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds featured on the ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Photo: PA

    The song featured on the ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    John Lennon's elder son Julian said it was inspired by a picture he drew of his classmate Lucy O'Donnell when they were at a nursery school in Weybridge, Surrey, in 1966.

    Julian said he took the picture home and showed it to his father, explaining: ''It's Lucy in the sky with diamonds.''

    When Lennon and Paul McCartney's song was subsequently released, it caused controversy because of its hallucinogenic theme and supposed reference to the drug LSD.

    The former classmates resumed their friendship in recent months when Lennon heard that Lucy, who was married to Ross Vodden and lived in Surbiton, Surrey, had become ill with lupus, a disease of the immune system.

    The St Thomas Lupus Trust, which had been supporting Mr and Mrs Vodden during her illness, said she died last Tuesday aged 46.

    Angie Davidson, campaign director of the trust, said: ''Everyone at the Louise Coote Lupus Unit was dreadfully shocked by the death of Lucy. She was a great supporter of ours and a real fighter.

    ''It's so sad that she has finally lost the battle she fought so bravely for so long.''

    The trust said that Lennon and his mother Cynthia were ''shocked and saddened'' by Mrs Vodden's death.

    A book of condolence will be opened on the trust's website www.lupus.org.uk.

    Salvation Mountain a man-made mountain

    Salvation Mountain is a colorful artificial mountain north of Calipatria, California, near Slab City. It is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of paint. It was created by Leonard Knight to convey the message that “God Loves Everyone”. Mr. Knight refused substantial donations of money and labor from supporters who wished to modify his message of universal love to favor or disfavor particular groups. Salvation Mountain is the second most visited tourist attraction in Imperial County.
    wide mountain
    Steps cut into the side of the hill lead to the summit which is topped by a cross. Knight lives full-time at the site in a small cabin mounted on the rear of a 1930s-vintage Chevrolet two-ton truck. Like Salvation Mountain, Knight’s Salvation Truck and a collection of other vehicles and machinery are entirely covered with paint and Biblical quotes as well. He estimates that more than 100,000 gallons of paint have gone into the creation of the mountain and that every California-based paint manufacturer has donated paint to the project.

    cars and mountain.jpg

    Friendly and accessible, Knight welcomes visitors to Slab City and Salvation Mountain and gladly accepts donations of both labor and acrylic paint. Once labeled an environmental hazard, the hill was threatened with removal by Imperial County. In recent years, the furor seems to have died down and the project has been likened to an epic work of folk art comparable to the Watts Towers. Although the project is an unauthorized one on state land, Salvation Mountain was placed under protection in 2002 when Senator Barbara Boxer entered it into the Congressional Record as a national treasure.Source

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    the door.jpg

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