Sunday, 26 September 2021

unknown foods

Also growing up with grocery store chains named Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, Safeway and Skaggs Alpha-Beta (wherein items were originally stocked and arranged in alphabetical order for ease of location and retrieval), we could appreciate this exercise from AI Weirdness (previously) that trained various neural networks on generating suggestions for naming supermarkets. We especially enjoyed how quickly it picked up on real world marketing conventions and served them back to us. Some of our favourites in addition to the entitled included: See How Much! Jumbo Boost Built in Juice, Fair-Oil Edible Foods and Little More Large Brook. Discover more about the methodology behind machine learning and be sure to subscribe to Janelle Shane at the links above.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

never an after-thirst with squirt

First broadcast on this day in 1967 during a commercial break from the WWII drama television series, the network aired a minute-long advertisement for the citrus-flavour soft drink called Squirt—which for ten-seconds appeared as muted but in living colour, even for the vast majority of households at the time who owned black-and-white TV sets.

With no general forewarning, I suspect a good number of viewers thought that they were losing their minds—or at least sense of sight and were hallucinating the flashes of colour. Those bursts were in fact the result of clever and carefully calibrated optical illusions developed by inventor James F. Butterfield the year prior, having found that working with optometrists and visual neuroscientists that the brain could be coaxed into processing colours that were not there by modulating the pulses of white light and could encode for a set of basic colours filtering a black-and-white camera field with a rotating device.
Butterfield called this outcome subjective colour. Because of the mechanical and physiological limitations—it was not a universal experience and the range of colours were limited and not very vibrant—and actual colour models were being introduced and becoming more affordable just as this technology was emerging, nothing more unfortunately came from this innovation and line of invesigation.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

music for grocery stores

We really enjoyed this ambient soundtrack, via r/ Obscure Media, to accompany one’s shopping list in this 1975 muzak selection Sounds for the Supermarket. The track titles that I suppose match the arc of the hunter-gatherer quest and could be suited to some independent gaming adventure are a bit strange and evocative: Mister Satisfied, Mister Lucky, To a Dark Lady, A Touch of Class, Harvey Wallbanger, Delicate Treasures, Departure, etc.