“The strongbox was Lori’s. For years, she kept it tucked in a bedroom closet, among a long list of items her husband, Blake Ruff, knew he was never to touch. Blake being Blake, he obeyed.
Lori died in 2010. That’s when Blake’s relatives found the box. Its contents told an astonishing story: The woman they knew as Lori was someone else entirely. She had created a new identity two decades earlier.”
QVC’s Manual for Survival in the Amazon Era – Bloomberg “When it comes to the second strategy, home shopping networks have always cultivated what psychologists call “parasocial relationships”: the illusion that you are having a social experience with someone on television. That is, for example, why there is almost always a QVC host and a product representative on the screen; it creates the feeling of a conversation in which you are being included. When I toured QVC’s headquarters, a lot of the people on the tour had amazing, encyclopedic knowledge of all the hosts, past and present. “She talks about them like they’re her friends,” said one exasperated granddaughter. But home shopping networks have never wanted the hosts to get too big. The hosts are decently paid — low six figures on average, from what I was able to gather — and they tend to live in small towns where that goes a long way. But the home shopping networks have deliberately discouraged them from getting too big, because that gives them negotiating power over the networks. There has been some suggestion that hosts who got too popular were often fired before their popularity got big enough to let them make big financial demands. (I’m talking here about presenters, not celebrities such as Joan Rivers or Isaac Mizrahi, who presumably […]
Orthography – Futility Closet ““If the professors of English will complain to me that the students who come to the universities, after all those years of study, still cannot spell ‘friend,’ I say to them that something’s the matter with the way you spell friend.” — Richard Feynman This has always been my problem with English. It’s a broken system where we blame the user. Watching kids learn to speak shows you just how many illogical choices there are in the language. tags: weekly english spelling How GM makes a car sound like what a car is supposed to sound like — Thoughtful Design — Medium “In general, to improve fuel economy in a car, you want to reduce the engine’s RPM. Over the past few decades, the auto industry has been doing that. In the 90s, says Gordon, a 4c engine might be cruising at 3,400 RPM. Today, it’s below 2,000. But as you reduce the speed that the drive shaft is rotating, you lower the frequency of the sound it’s making. There comes a lower limit where the engine is making what Gordon calls “groan-y and moan-y” noises which people find unpleasant. The car sounds broken. So cars had to keep the engine’s RPM above a certain level, hurting their fuel efficiency, or risk alienating customers.” tags: car […]
Hitchhiking robot’s cross-country trip in US ends in Philly “With the robot destroyed, Zeller said, she was most concerned about children who loved hitchBOT and followed it on social media. Her team doesn’t plan to release the last photo of it to protect young fans who might be distraught. “I hope that people won’t be too disappointed, too sad,” she said.” tags: weekly usa robot sociology Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.