Sunday, January 25, 2009

Patronising logo

Adult functional literacy is a big issue, and there is a very long tradition of trying not to patronise adults by giving them children's reading primers. The 'On the move' BBC series was a pioneer of this as long ago as the 1970s.

You can find adult literacy tests to practice online, but just look at where you find them:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gourmet stroop test

Rummaging through my student son's larder I discovered the bottle on the right. If you're not from the UK you won't know that the Tesco Value range consists of absurdly cheap but basically OK basics - things like bread, beans and biscuits. Not Balsamic Vinegar Of Modena. That comes in posh bottles like the one on the left.

Now I have heard that the Value range is largely bought by the middle classes - the genuinely needy target market being too proud to be seen to be buying the cheapest. May or may not be true, but perhaps it explains the incursion of this resoundingly middle class vinegar.

Non ironic version

To be fair, here's a new version of the email I just posted, that arrived about an hour after the other one.

You can read about the new journal here: PJIM.

New journal on data visualisation

Just received this email about a new journal on information mapping and data visualisation. Ironic, eh?

Actually it looks like a very interesting journal and I plan to follow this up. But it's just as well Parsons is focusing on visual stuff, not verbal - how's this for a noun phrase: 'a one-of-a-kind Research, Development, and Professional Services facility leveraging Knowledge Visualization'.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

This should appeal to our vicious, semi-criminal customers

Most organisations segment their customers in some way, so they can target products or communications at each group. They give names to the segments like 'empty nesters', 'cash-strapped families', 'young trendsetters' and so on. Some of these verge on the pejorative - like the one I've just seen that prompted this post, that I won't quote because I'm working with the organisation concerned at the moment. Sometimes there are informal usages within organisations - at one mobile phone company I worked with, anonymous pay-as-you-go customers who did not register their accounts were known as 'crims' or 'dealers'.

Oddly enough, I'd start writing this post when I thought I'd see what Paul Luna had put up on his Luna's cafĂ© blog recently - he showed this legend from one of Charles Booth's London maps - part of his Life and labour of the people of London survey(1886–1903).

Photo of tree

Nothing to do with the topic of this blog, I know, but around the corner from the last photo was this Christmas tree. It appears to have been put out for the bin men, but left behind when the rubbish was collected because it blends in so well with the other trees in the street.

The King Canute signage awards, 2009: entry 2

In case it's not obvious, on the left someone has written 'Pls don't urinate here'. On the right someone else has helpfully drawn a urinal on the wall (Eagle Court, Farringdon).

The King Canute signage awards, 2009: entry 1

Obviously these no smoking signs will prevent the smoke from passers-by reaching the folk sat in the chairs at this open air coffee stand in Broad Street, Reading.