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Posts Tagged ‘ London 2012 ’

How Big Businesses Use Emotional Power Of Logos

logo-infographic

Golden arches. Swoosh. Mouse ears. You know what they mean. Some logos are so powerful that they don’t need to spell out their names, or that they transcend cultural borders. How can these simple, trivial little artworks inspire global familiarity with so many of them having become iconic? Because they’re not trivial or simple.

Iconic logos are masters of subtleties and understatements. In the infographic, we learn that logos carry sublime colour meanings. Do you ever wonder why some logos are bright yellow and some red? Why luxury brands are usually black, white, or brown, while corporate logos are blue? Continue reading

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News in Brief – A Year in Brief

Olympic TorchHAPPY NEW YEAR! How’s the head? Mouth feel like it’s full of Jedwards hair? What better way to start the New Year than tired, fat and saturated in booze?

It hasn’t been a bad year. Actually . . . Well anyway to celebrate the dawn of the unlucky for some 2013 News in Brief has taken a look back at some of the best stories from 2012.

2012 saw the evolution of lives lived online and cemented the necessity that is the internet across every aspect of our lives. And its propensity for porn. Seeing the potential in owning online, Kevin O’Shea from Waterford in a “moment of madness” bought the domains; finegael.xxx, sinnfein.xxx and fiannafail.xxx for €300; the X-rated dot-com equivalent known for its use in porn site web addresses. On his purchases O’Shea said, ” I was laid up with a broken leg and I had a lot of time on my hands. It was kind of like that film Rear Window where the main character goes a bit mad.”

Last year Irish author Julian Gough, took umbrage with the organisers of the eponymous Wodehouse literary prize after discovering their winner was secured before the short list was drawn up. The well sought prize for the winner of the Wodehouse award? Well the top author has the honour of bestowing their name on a pig. Gough offended by the fix in the competition stole the prize pig from its home in Wales threatening to return the animal “sausage by sausage” until the competition was made fair. In a twist to the tale, and despite Gough’s criminal activity, 2012 saw the writer once again short listed for the award.

A former drug addict helped her husband in his attempt to rob a building society disguised as a wheelchair bound woman. While Denise Ward, 39 waited outside in a car, Thomas Clark dressed in a black wig, threatened a Permanent TSB branch manager with an axe. However Clark and his 21-year-old accomplice were chased from the building by the manager, shouting; “would you ever f*** off”.

In other banking news Ulster Bank lost the run of itself also losing its customers cash somewhere. Taxes, the payment and avoidance of also dominated the news this year. British comedian Jimmy Carr’s lack of tax lead to controversy on this side of the water as well. Whilst we know certain superstars of our own *cough-German submarine named band-cough* have made use of off-shore, legal, tax reduction measures it is unlikely they will face a barrage like Carr as the Irish economy relies in part on the income of the `legitimate tax avoidance measures` we offer global companies such as Facebook, Google and Apple . And at least Ulster Bank apologised. Chief Executive, Jim Brown turned down this year’s bonus after the unmitigated disaster that has been Ulster Bank’s computer problems. Thanks Jim.

Starbucks found themselves in trouble after they “erroneously posted” a tweet on their @StarbucksIE account saying; “Happy hour is on! Show us what makes you proud to be British for a chance to win. Don’t forget to tag #MyFrappuccino”. Irish followers didn’t take well to the mis-tweet with comedy writer Colm Tobin calling it, “the social media equivalent of Oliver Cromwell kicking Fungi in the nose” and another tweeter suggesting Starbucks re-name frappuccino’s, ‘Trappachino’s’ for the duration of the Euro 2012. Of which the less said the better.

On a similar theme we all watched Eurovision didn’t we? You either love it or threaten to `shed the blood` of `European scum`. Oh dear. For a show that often receives a Marmite reaction an Islamic extremist group went a bit further threatening to use knives and chemical weapons in a terror attack on the Eurovision hopefuls in May. Irish entry Jedward were unfazed, tweeting `Just so you know the Jedward Baby Day Care is closed and will not be changing any diapers so go baby wee wee at your own home`. Quite.

Ah Jedward, the stalwarts or News In Brief what else have they done this year? Well another one turned up, then another two (although made of wax), they ran a marathon with no training and supported Westlife in their farewell tour in Croke Park – never will we see four men, so stoically and so expertly stand up from stools.

It was Jedward who carried the Olympic flame as well, as it crossed Irish soil. With population figures taken into account Ireland came fourth in the Paralympics and earned a total of sixteen medals across London 2012. Not too shabby and a source of great pride to the whole country who welcomed our champions home with great ceremony and celebration. First stop The Late Late Show where the host managed to make a mockery of the whole thing and get Adam Nolan’s name wrong, repeatedly. He certainly wouldn’t want to meet the boxing champion in the ring after calling him Andy throughout the show causing Adam to take to Twitter to endorse the return of Pat Kenny. And the gold medal for prize prat goes to Ryan Tubridy.

What’s longer than an olympic swimming pool and less watery? Well, a lot of things really, but particularly the journey Olympic gymnast hopeful Kieran Behan had to take get to China. Mr Behan had been invited to take part in a prestigious gymnastic event but due to mistakes regarding his visa, was forced to re-board his eighteen hour flight from Heathrow to Beijing. Back in England it was only after discussion with the Chinese embassy that Mr Behan was once again onboard and bound for the Chinese capital. Gymnastics Ireland have taken full blame for the blunder which has cost Keiran five days of important training.Mr Behan, who has overcome sever disability and injury to get to his position in the gymnastic world was understandably frustrated, a member of his team commented, `It was the world’s biggest cock up.`

2012 saw cuts to public services including the Gardai. A victim of a burglary was forced to go and pick up Gardai after she was told there were no patrol cars for them to use. The woman, from Newtowncunningham in Co. Donegal initially reported the incident at her home, before being told she had the choice of waiting for the nearest patrol car, which was 9km away at the Carrigans station, or collecting the Gardai herself to investigate the incident.

And who could forget the councillor in Cork that wanted to introduce DNA testing to determine the doggy culprits leaving mess all over the city’s streets? He’s hoping we all have.

Ah 2012 what a year. What will 2013 bring? Hopefully more of the same. A Westlife reunion, the continuation of Jedward, more government groaning, banking balls ups and the general news fodder that makes this country so great and gives News in Brief something to write about every week. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

News in Brief-Tubridy Fails,Councillors Peed Off Over Loo And Adams Shows His Intellect

Adams: Simple and Effective

Kite flying in the late summer sun sounds like fun to me, that’s why Eamon Gilmore is raining on our parade. The Tanaiste was though referring to “budget kite flying”. This slightly strange turn of phrase, comes to dampen a potential split in the Labour party after a disagreement concerning the suitability of their upmarket meeting venue in the recession. As the cost of living soars it’s not surprising party members feel a bit awkward drinking champagne from a shoe. Gilmore’s creating enough of his own wind to fly a kite.

One politician who doesn’t mince his words is Gerry Adams who has notably replied to calls by the governments economic advisors for tougher budgets than those set out by Michael Noonan. What was the Sinn Fein leader’s response? “Get lost”. Well said.

In international news Angelina Jolie is also a whizz with words. The other half of Brangelina has recently visited Syria, not baby shopping but doing that other thing she does, saving the world! Whilst there she commented there was “much to be done” and called on the international population  to “do everything they can”. Thanks Ange.

More intelligent responses came from students in their Junior Cert, the results are in! In general Maths results were up but languages were lacking, could this signal an insular Ireland to come, separatism from international monetary markets and the ability to count just how much money we actually have in the bank?

With population figures taken into account Ireland came fourth in the Paralympics and earned a total of sixteen medals across London 2012. Not too shabby and a source of great pride to the whole country who welcomed our champions home with great ceremony and celebration. First stop the Late Late Show where the host managed to make a mockery of the whole thing and get Adam Nolan’s name wrong, repeatedly. He certainly wouldn’t want to meet the boxing champion in the ring after calling him Andy throughout the show causing Adam to take to Twitter to endorse the return of Pat Kenny. And the gold medal for prize prat goes to Ryan Tubridy.
Gluten free food for coeliac sufferers will no longer be paid for by the HSE. As the government continue to claw back the cash in cuts (€3.6m they estimate in gluten-free food), those who become ill from gluten in foods will be forced to cough up the cost themselves. With nothing to eat for energy it is unlikely coeliacs will mount the high-profile protest outside Leinster House that followed cuts to carers of the disabled.

Lady Gaga has a new hairdo and Robbie Williams has a new clothing line and luckily for us they’re both in Ireland this weekend! Gaga has flown in to perform her Born This Way tour whilst Robbie is stopping off at Brown Thomas to launch his ‘Jack Farrell’ label before playing the 02. Tickets to see Gaga will cost up to €96 while Robbie’s launch is invite only but of course both assure us they LOVE Ireland.

More exciting in Mallow Town in County Cork is the news that a public toilet is no nearer completion and starting to pee off councillors. Work began on the loo last October and is still not completed. “It’s not like we’re building the Taj Mahal,” commented one councillor.

News in Brief-Unsafe Water,Ronan Seeks To Cash In On Marriage Blues And Ireland Prepares To Welcome Katie Home

Water way to start the week in Dublin. Thousands of people in the North of the city were notified that their water was unsafe for drinking on Tuesday after a routine test on Sunday showed the supply to be contaminated with bacteria. Water tankers were brought in to provide residents of the St Lawrence supply zone and the council hopes to have the problem resolved by the end of the week.

         Katie Taylor will be bringing a big lump of metal back into the country following her win in ladies light-weight boxing at London 2012. The Wicklow woman will return to a big party, the planning of which is already underway, let’s hope she’s not a light-weight out of the ring.
          The Labour Party’s Intercultural Group has called for those employed in public roles to attend “sensitivity training”. This would include judges and councillors that have to deal with the public on a frequent basis. The call comes after Judge Mary Devins branded state welfare a ‘Polish charity’. Firm plans for what this training would involve have not been outlined, although Karen McCormack, co-chairperson of the group highlighted the importance of language, the fecker. To save the time and money this would obviously involve let us all remember the well-worn phrase of our mothers; if you’ve nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.
          Terence Ming Flanagan could do with heeding this advice. The controversial TD has been criticised this week for a ’viscious, unprovoked, verbal attack’ on Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett in the corridors of Leinster House. On being asked to publicly apologise, Ming took to his Facebook page to further insult Mr Barrett suggesting he enjoys ’guzzling pints’ – handbags at Dail!
         Ronan Keating has claimed that leaving his wife of fourteen years Yvonne has given him back his music muse. Blaming his unhappy marriage on being unable to write a hit, Keating is now looking forward to turning his marriage crash into hard cash. It’s a bit unfair to blame the ex-missus he couldn’t write many hits before he married her either.
And finally Ryan Tubridy has got himself a Vespa. Downgrading from his regular Jaguar Saloon the RTE figurehead’s pay has also been downgraded by thirty percent. But he won’t let that get him down, or get in his way scooting about the city telling the tabloids ‘he’s totally OK with it’. That would be because of all the mountains of cash he’s already earnt and is still earning even after a thirty percent cut. Would he be so blasé on benefits?

Katie Hoping To Beat Outspoken Opponent And Win The Gold

Katie Taylor will aim to win Ireland’s first gold medal in boxing in 20 years this afternoon when she competes in the final of the women’s lightweight category at London 2012.

The nation will come to a standstill as Taylor takes on Russia’s Sofya Ochigava at the ExCeL Arena at 4:45pm.

Thousands of people are expected to gather in Bray to watch the fight, which comes one day after the hometown hero sealed her route to the final with a stunning win over Tajikistan’s Mavzuna Chorieva .

The Russian has lost twice to Taylor in recent finals but will aim to make it third time lucky after her defeats at the 2011 European Championships and this year’s world championships. Ochigava expressed her concerns that the judges might favour the Irish boxer, saying that Taylor’s first round opponent Natasha Jonas suffered at the hands of the judges.

“She is one of the best, but she is just another boxer. In my opinion Natasha Jonas won the first two rounds against her, but the judges didn’t see it that way,” Ochigava said after beating Brazil’s Adriana Araujo 17-11 in her semi-final

“When you fight Katie you are already minus 10 points. You are fighting the judges and the whole system and they will try to give her too many points.”

Regardless of her feelings towards the judges, Ochigava, who also reached the final in clinical fashion, will certainly be up against an Irish crowd who smashed the record for the loudest roar of the Games on Monday.

Katie who has been vividly struck by the atmosphere during her matches said “It’s amazing. To have a chance to box for a gold medal tomorrow is incredible. It’s incredible to have 10,000 Irish people screaming for you, it feels like I’m boxing at home in Dublin. Hopefully I can make everyone proud.”

The Olympic Opening Ceremony, Britain’s latest Bond Girl and a rather bizarre tribute to the NHS!

According to the BBC last night they had an audience share of 82%, with ratings soaring to 27 million during the three and a half hour spectacle. Despite the extortionate viewing figures, we can all admit that the level of hype and the highest level of secrecy surrounding the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony sparked our curiosity and drove the majority of us to tune in last night to what was undoubtedly at times one of the most atypical ceremonies ever witnessed.

£27million for the creation of Danny Boyle’s highly anticipated spectacle, but was it worth it?

As most adoring Olypmic fans and Brits praised the creative showpiece, I for one am not in total agreement that the Olympic Opening Ceremony truly was magnificent.

As the titles rolled and we sat in anticipation for what was definitely a memorable beginning to any Olympic Games, and as Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins rang the Olympic Bell I wondered what would lie in store. Was I the only one who thought school was out for the summer, only to feel like I’d been summoned to my living room chair for a British history lesson courtesy of Danny Boyle. However, despite this busy showcase, I urged myself to keep watching if only to see Katie Taylor lead the Irish Team into the Olympic Stadium. As my knowledge on the industrial revolution was restored and the inclusion of Sir Kenneth Branagh reading from Shakespeare’s The Tempest , I firmly believed that that opening ceremony could only get better, not so, as a rather bizarre tribute to the NHS ensued. I wondered what befit its place in this show, as they celebrated the NHS, up popped Harry Potter characters, and down came an influx of Mary Poppins. Was I dreaming?  Unfortunately, I wasn’t, as the peculiarities were set to continue.

Just as we began to come to terms with what we were visualising, Daniel Craig appeared on the big screen as his 007 character with Britain’s latest, and possibly oldest bond girl to date, the Queen herself. She made a cameo appearance in a comical sketch filmed at Buckingham Palace culminated by her arrival into the Olympic Stadium seemingly parachuting from an overhead helicopter with the James Bond star. As stuntsman Gary Connery makes his landing wearing a similar dress to her majesty, and the camera quickly turns on the Queen who walks into the Stadium. Yes, Danny you fooled the world there with a stunt like that!

The ceremony moved to celebrate music and social media with dance performances which included the appearance of Dizzee Rascal.  Chariots of Fire was announced as the next musical composition to be played by the orchestra, only to see Rowan Akinson’s infamous character Mr Bean, take part in the composition in a satirical manner.  Confused? Yes, me too, not quite sure why his presence was required.  Apparently his comedy is well received across the globe, well if that’s the case; why not throw him into the opening ceremony too.

Next David Beckham appeared on a speedboat travelling on the final leg of the journey with the Olympic torch. Perhaps this move a little more comprehendible as he himself is a globally renowned sporting figure.

Was I the only one who thought that the antics of the Opening Ceremony were a little bizarre? Perhaps I’m one of the few honest enough to admit that it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, and perhaps putting on view Britain’s well known faces for comedy sketches doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with this sporting event. Was it all a mere ploy to showcase some of Britain’s most beloved celebrities? In truth, I’m not sure. Nor am I sure what Danny Boyle’s logic was in the creation of this spectacle. One thing’s for sure it did make the global headlines.

The Guardian hailed Boyle’s ‘masterpiece’ as ‘the biggest, maddest, weirdest, most heartfelt and lovable dream sequence in British cinema history’. The Mirror did notice that ‘it was hard to think of any British icon it didn’t reference’, whilst the New York Times described it as ‘visually stunning’.

For me however, it wasn’t the spectacle and the famous faces that made the night quite stunning. Instead for me, it was seeing each country enter the Olympic Stadium with the flag holder leading their country and their country’s athletes following behind. The sense of pride which lit their eyes, and the happiness that filled their faces was no comedy sketch; it was a natural reaction to the honour bestowed on them to represent their country in the 2012 Olympic Games. It was a culmination of their talent; hard work and dedication that had resulted in each one of them walking into that stadium last night.

Watching on and reading the reviews today, it felt that the most salient part of the Opening Ceremony, the introduction of the countries and their athletes to the Olympic Stadium, had been overlooked as all eyes were on some mad spectacle set to honour celebrities and not the true heroes that were present to represent us all. Whilst Daniel Craig may be the most handsome Bond we’ve had in long time, and whilst David Beckham gets better looking with age, they were not what our eyes should have been fixated on last night, it was the athletes. The fact that the media are heralding the involvement of British celebrities in the ceremony saddens me.

What saddens me even more, is the criticism the unknown young athletes who received the Olympic torch from Sir Steve Redgrave and brought it on it’s final journey to light the cauldron was deemed an ‘anti-climax’ by many across various media outlets.

John Cherwa from the LA Times wrote ‘Hated the flame lighting. Just make a decision and pick someone’.  Some went so far as to say letting seven people light the cauldron was a cop out, and that it should have been lit by a person ‘people have heard of’.  Again a reminder that we live in a celebrity crazed world that wanted a ‘famous face’ taking the torch on it’s final hurdle. The point missed by so many is that it was seven young people who had been nominated by renowned sporting figures and athletes, who wanted to inspire the new generation.  Sport is a wonderful thing; it is something comprehendible no matter your race, religion or background. It brings people together, it requires real dedication, personal commitment, motivation, ambition and passion; characteristics that can inspire us all. The lightening of the cauldron was an act to inspire the next generation, the folk that sat in their living room tuning into the Opening Ceremony with similar dreams as those, that the athletes possessed, that were presented to us tonight. Reminding us that we can dream big, and that one day we too could inspire another generation.

The ceremony concluded with the Queen officially declaring them open ‘I declare open the Games of London, celebrating the 30th Olympiad of the modern era’ and Sir Paul Mc Cartney singing Hey Jude, as a scene of breathtaking fireworks lit the London sky line, Danny Boyle tweeted ‘Proud to be British’, I tweeted ‘Proud to be Irish’. Seeing Katie Taylor wave our flag, followed by the Irish contingent filled me with pride…for me, they were the true heroes of last night, alas, I can watch Daniel Craig on the big screen any day!

News in Brief-Fat Ireland, Jailbreaking Romanians and A Bit of Posh Spice

Attack of the fat! It seems Ireland has been ranked seventh worst country in the world in terms of keeping fit. Now the Irish population are behind the Americans in the amount of exercise they take part in every week. Well we are fans of a pint of the black stuff, Tayto crisps and bread, lots of them in fact, and all while we sit on the sofa.

Don’t be offended by my casual stereotyping, everyone is doing it, including Tourism Ireland. For Londoners wanting to ’escape the madness’ of an English summer and London’s 2012 Olympics then they may consider a trip to the Emerald Isle as portrayed by Tourism Ireland in their new advert.
        Tourism Ireland’s new campaign features two likely lads testing how soon one can be sipping a pint of that famous black stuff while the other tries to get a coffee in the commuter-locked city. ’Yer Man’ (fulfilling another stereotype) ends up in a very nice pub after the ’classic sheep shot’ (seriously now?) before ’Office Boy’ makes it to work. All that are missing are some little men in green.
        Chris O’Dowd is the funny voice of the campaign after apparently tweeting that he’d like to be the voice of Irish tourism in Britain. Hey @TourismIreland I’ll be your voice of Ireland in the Mediterranean. No?
If you commit crime but can’t do the time at least remember your manners. That is what two male prisoners have done this week. The escapees, or unaccounted for inmates, as the authorities prefer, left the Castlerea prison in Roscommon where they were serving time for breaking into parking meters. Obviously though, they felt they had served their time leaving the prison and a note; “Sorry, we had no choice”. Well, manners do cost nothing, a thieves favourite price.
What’s the Dail’s favourite price? Over priced. Recession? What recession? You wouldn’t know we were a country in trouble if you walked into the sea of tablet screens that will soon be the Dail. Each member is to receive new tablet computers in steps to “modernise” government. Apparently the cost of the tablets will be recouped through a reduction in printing costs as members will be able to access bills, notes and information on their tablets, on the go. Hey Dail, I’ll have a free iPad! Not you either?
Victoria Beckham, the famously miserable face of brand Beckham has been in Dublin this week to promote her clothing line in Brown Thomas. The always austere Posh Spice was however upstaged by her daughter Harper, as she took tentative steps across the shop floor (reminiscent of her mother in her excessive heels). Predictably and uninterestingly  the media went mad with an image of the teetering tot going viral worldwide but not of them noticed the note left behind; “Sorry, I had no choice”.
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