Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ads by Paddy (and a baby)

Greetings favourite people and others.

2008 has already begun as year-of-the-date-clash (bet the Chinese haven't thought of that one). But I won't bore you with the reasons why. I still haven't learned to cope with the reality that when something happens, something else is usually happening at the same time.

I'm using this post to catch up with some belated family housekeeping matters. Firstly, congrats to big brother Matthew for landing a full time job as 2IC to the Director of Music/ Middle School at Pembroke, Adelaide, SA, Oz-Stray-ya. Kind of ironic that he gets a gig at Middle School level when his previous employer allegedly knocked him back for a promotion as he "didn't have enough experience at Middle School level". I won't name the institution, but it shares it's name with that of a luxury German car.

This photo is here for no other reason than to break up the monotony of the text

Speaking of no experience, our luddite mother is still throwing herself headlong into the world of patooters (that's Katie Hawkes-speak for computers). Apart from not being able to attach photos to emails without worrying whether or not they're still on her patooter after the email leaves, she's not doing too badly.

Here's an exchange we had after I sent her an email with a link to all the things which happen which are blamed on Global Warming.

Mumsy: I'm more interested to know if you're going to purchase (as seen on same webpage as the article) the 'CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED' dvd of "Jesus didn't Exist" by...such LUMINARIES as Jesus Seminar Fellow (what's that?) Robert M. Price, Professor (of what?) Richard Dawkins ... All this for an undisclosed price and in "crisp Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio"!!!!!

Me: Right, so Jesus doesn't exist now? Can't these cultural elite/ career atheists agree on anything? If he didn't exist, how could he have been married to Mary Magdelene? Or have been "revived by the coolness of the tomb"? Or been gay? Or an alien? Or "just a great bloke with some top ideas"? Or a virulent anti-semite?

You have just discovered the "automatically generated ads-by-Google". You see, they scan your browsing habits or key words in the article on the page and generate ads they think are related. So on sites which say nice things about Jesus, you'll see a google-generated ad saying "Jesus was a dangerous cult leader- read more here" or on a site satirical about communism, you'll see an ad telling you how to join the Australian Socialist Alliance. Clearly the programs which randomnly generate the ads haven't learned to decipher sarcasm.

And then, of course, there's Ebay- Google will look at what you're browsing, pick a key word and generate an ad saying you can buy that kind of thing on Ebay. So if you're reading an article about Kevin Rudd, there will be an advertisement on the side saying "Thinktanks! Great deals on thinktanks on Ebay".

I then attached, for Mumsy's benefit, an example of what happens when automated ad generating goes horribly wrong, after I was browsing for info on the Sudanese genocide.

So, as Mum and others are slowly learning, it's highly web-fashionable and trendy to leave prominent space on your webpage to the mercy of a Google-owned, automated random ad generating robot. Never mind that people reading your website about healthy eating will be lead to a site promoting suicide by weed killer. Or, that the net resource for Rabbinical Judaism will contain links to Hog's Breath. Or that whilst reading an online speech by the Archbishop of Canterbury, you'll be redirected to a site demanding sharia law (oh wait...that one was synonymous).

That reminds me, and I digress with another transcript of an exchange, this time with my highly talented godsister Katie on the subject of music, late last year:

Katie Eleanor: I'll serenade you anytime, godbrother. I'm currently working on an acoustic version of Prodigy's inspirational hit "Smack my Bitch Up"
Me: Is that what they're saying? I always thought it was "Smack my Bishop". Never had Prodigy pegged for Anglicans.

That was quite a prophetic comment now that I look at it. And once Katie has finished her acoustic version maybe we can serenade the Bishop of the Diocese of the Mu...

ANYWAY, where was I? Oh yeah, automated Google ads...

So, wanting my blog to be trendy regardless of the risks, my comrades at The People's Cube have come up with some similar ads to spice this blog. Really, they are randomnly generated.

Now, on a more civilised and far more enjoyable note, another congratulations goes to our German Frau Claudi, or more specifically her sister Katherine. Katherine has just given birth to, as they apparently say in Germany, "a little dwarf". Rather than lecture Claudi on the political incorrectness of such phrases, as they are insulting and demeaning to dwarfs, people suffering from dwarfism and garden ornaments, better just to post a piccy of Auntie Claudi and her new dwarf. I mean nephew.

Recently I have noted a spate of dwarfs born with lots and lots of hair. Our nephew Zane, and a couple from church to name some. Obviously whichever mutated gene causes this has not yet found it's way to Germany, which is good because Nicolas's father Uwe's hair is very, very grey.

Herzlichen Gl├╝ckwunsch to Katherine, Uwe and Auntie Claudi.

Now click on a google ad and see where you end up. A site about tall people, perhaps.

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