Just Say Know

leaflyWhodathunk former First Lady Nancy Reagan would live to see her famous anti-drug message turned on its head? Last Sunday, U.S. paper of record the New York Times ran an ad for Leafly, a website and mobile app that lets users research strains of cannabis and dispensaries in the U.S. and Canada.

Mrs. Reagan (now 93 years old) made curbing drug abuse her cause during the 1980s with the ballyhooed campaign tagline, “Just Say No.” Effective as it was to scare a generation of third graders away from the evils of crack, marijuana, too, fell under the veil of dangerous, addictive and life-ruining.


Fast forward 25 years and marijuana’s makeover is nearly complete. Having helped a legions of adults deal with the evils of chemotherapy and wasting illnesses, few believe it should be denied terminally ill patients. A majority of Americans (54%) now favor its legalization across the board, with two states – Colorado and Washington – one-upping medical use and leading the charge in making marijuana available for recreational purposes.

It was then only a matter of time until some advertising whiz got a hold of “Just Say No” and changed it to “Just Say Know.” That advertising whiz was hired by Leafly to create an ad demonstrating why it’s important and useful to know which strain of marijuana, in which form (flower? edible? oil?) and from which nearby dispensary will be best for you and your symptoms.

Symptoms now range well beyond nausea and pain, to anxiety, insomnia, stress and writer’s block. To remedy these conditions, strains need to be listed in ways that are more creative than a microbrewery and less pretentious than a winery. Alaskan Thunder Fuck, anybody?

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Why Cannabis Company Leafly Bought a Full-Page Ad in the New York Times” 

 Image Source: Leafly


yoThe downfall of civilization is upon us, or at the very least, a certain breed of San Franciscans converging to bring on the apocalypse (i.e., a tech bubble crash) may soon get their wish. It’s been reported in one of my favorite neo-progressive missives, 48 Hills that a new app is upon us. It’s called Yo!

Yo! is an app that allows you to send one word (yo – formerly known as the Spanish word for “I”) to a friend, a colleague, your wife, etc. to let him or her know that you’re thinking about them.

In the 48 Hills piece by Julia Carrie Wong, with the fabulous title “What We Yo About When We Yo About Yo” (I’m a sucker for plays on Raymond Carver short story titles), we learn that Silicon Valley investors have just pumped $1 million into Yo!. The app is the concept of a tech CEO who “wanted an easy way to tell his personal assistant he needed to talk to her. So ‘Yo’ in that case was the equivalent of a ‘hey you girl,’ a bell pull, a throat clear, or a grunt.”

Wong, step-by-step, dismantles the Yo! website for us (saving you the pain of having to visit it, let alone download the app). She continues to tell us that the tech CEO who inspired the developer to build the app in just 8 hours (um…let’s see, that’s $1 million for 8 hours of work) uses “Yo! with his wife, so that…she knows he’s thinking about her, so she doesn’t bother him any more [sic].”

Yes, you too can use Yo! to tell your spouse, per Wong, “Yes dear,” “I love you,” “Not now dear,” and “Why did we get married in the first place?”

I’m going to bring this back to the word – not the bubble many of my fellow San Franciscans want to explode all over our pretty little heads. (For the record, I don’t want the bubble to burst, but I would like some of the newbies in town to show a little more respect for this great city – that is all.)

Where I come from – Norwalk, Connecticut, to be exact – the word “Yo!” was adopted by rich white kids to prove that our hometown was so diverse, its several small ghettoes abutted some of its most exclusive preppy enclaves. They shouted “Yo!” out of the shiny new cars their parents gave them when they turned 16 at kids like me who lived in the middle ground between these two extremes and were still walking to school, even though we had a driver’s license.

Long past conjugating “Yo!” in 6th grade Spanish, it’s Americanization has always seemed to be a way to summon the lesser. The rich kids may have been “Yo’ing” us light years ahead of this app, but the message was the same. “Hey, you, come here – now.” Often, they gave me a ride, shared some weed, played some tunes on the 8-track. In which case, “Yo!” may not be the end of the world – just the beginning of that.

Source: 48 Hills

Image source: Justyo.co

Death of Moviefone

moviephoneRemember when you had to dial up (on a telephone) 777-FILM to find out what was playing at what time at the local multiplex? Surely, you can be forgiven if you thought Moviefone was already dead given we’ve been using the Web for more than a decade and apps for half of that to organize an evening away from the couch and our ability to view just about anything on demand.

Yet, Moviefone is still with us, until sometime next month according to The Verge, when it will shut down permanently after a 25-year run. If you thought Moviefone was around longer, like me, well, I guess the demise of this service you haven’t used in many years is somehow even harder to take. (Its app for iPad is available here.)

You can read more about the death of Moviefone over at The Verge, where it is definitely worth scrolling to the end of the piece to see a vintage “Seinfeld” clip of Kramer impersonating Moviefone. Once upon a time, this was really funny. Maybe it still is.

Source: The Verge http://www.theverge.com/2014/2/24/5441416/moviefones-iconic-phone-service-is-shutting-down-after-25-years


Live Streaming the Yule Log


One of my fondest Christmas memories as a small child growing up in the shadow of New York City in the 1960s is of my father sitting in the living room, his feet up, a strong drink in his hand and the Yule Log on TV – WPIX to be exact.

We didn’t have a fireplace, but we had a color TV, and when you put on Channel 11, you and everybody else in the New York Metro area became one with the 17-second open hearth loop and traditional Christmas carols. Nat King Cole’s “Christmas Song”, aka “chestnuts roasting on an open fire”, in all its haunting glory is the one I remember most. Maybe because in my father’s no-nonsense approach to bringing up kids, he informed us that Nat King Cole had died of lung cancer just a few years before.

On that note – flash forward to Christmas in California, where I’ve lived for many years, the last 10 or so with a real, working fireplace. It is another “spare the air” Christmas Eve in San Francisco, so we won’t be lighting our own personal Yule Log. The fact that it’s 60 degrees out makes this basically a non-issue. Besides I’ve had the Yule Log app on my iPad for the last few Christmases past since it usually is a spare the air holiday around here anyway.

This morning I came across a great column called “Historical Shit” in the online version of the Village Voice that gives those of us who grew up with such fond memories of the Yule Log on WPIX more “historical shit” about the Yule Log than anyone but someone who grew up watching a fireplace on their TV at Christmastime could possibly stand. I’ve read every word – twice – and now am even writing my own post about the Yule Log because, obviously, I’m a huge fan.

Two years ago the phrase “there’s an app for that” probably rang truest in our online lifestyles. Indeed, it did for me on Christmas Eve when I found out I could get cited for lighting my fireplace and placed my iPad with the Yule Log app ablaze in front of the home hearth. In 2013, “live streaming” is probably the year’s biggest change to the way we used to do things. Now you can watch what you want to watch when you want to or tap into radio and TV stations from around the world – no longer limited by broadcast reaches or the the FCC.

Best. Christmas. Present. So. Far. WPIX is live streaming the Yule Log from 6 to 10 pm tonight (Christmas Eve), and from 9 am to 1 pm and 7 to 10 pm on Christmas Day! All I have to do now is remember is to put my feet up, get a strong drink and adhere to Eastern Standard Time before giving my Dad (and Mom) a call.

No Fireplace? Spare the Air on Christmas Day? There’s an App for That!

When I was a kid growing up in Connecticut, we didn’t have a fireplace. But we did have Channel 11, WPIX, which my father always had on at some point on Christmas Eve for the Yule Log.

Nothing was more cheesy than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “O Tannenbaum” over the crackles of the Yule Log. While the Yule Log blazed away – it never actually stopped blazing and became an ember, or smoldered along like a real fire would – the carols merrily carried on. Soon we would open presents, my parents would have a few eggnogs and someone would change the channel.

Now I live in California and I have a fireplace, but I hadn’t thought of the Yule Log in years. Until last night. That’s when I found out that San Francisco and the entire Bay Area would be under a Spare the Air lockdown for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Suddenly I wanted a fire for the holidays and couldn’t believe I couldn’t light one. Suddenly, I recalled those Christmases in Connecticut and the Yule Log and thought – there must be an app for that!

There is – in fact, there are several. I logged onto the iTunes store and found the iYuleLog for my iPad. It was free. While the audio choices that promised me a crackling fire, babbling brook or some original music by someone named Amber Snider didn’t work, the various fire selections did. When we get tired of the traditional fireplace Yule Log tomorrow we can switch to a Napa ranch campfire or a wood burning stove (also both banned in real-life under the Spare the Air regulations).

Seasons Greetings!

Find a Friendly Toilet with CLOO’

You knew it was coming – in this age of “an app for everything” CLOO’ is an app that will help you find a clean, safe toilet to use when you’re on the go and well, have to go. Or, more importantly, in this age of endless recession and wily entrepreneurship, why not make a buck off your toilet when you’re not using it yourself.

CLOO’ – which is shorthand for Community + Loo (the British slang equivalent for “john”, “throne” and “seeing a man about a horse”) plans to launch early next year. According to its website:

CLOO’ is a community of registered users who choose to share their bathrooms and make city-living easier, while earning a small profit. Using social media connections, CLOO’ shows what friends you have in common with the host, turning a stranger’s loo into a friend of a friend’s loo.

In exchange for listing your loo and allowing friends (and friends of friends) to use yours, a simple token payment can be exchanged from your “guest’s” Smartphone to yours. Even better news than better days are coming next time you’re in the big city and need a place to pee? CLOO’ is hiring!

Source: Los Angeles Times technology blog.

21st Century Royal Wedding Ditches Commemorative Plate for an App

Back in the day, we dished up our royals about to say “I do” with a commemorative plate. But in case you doubted 1981 was a really, really long time ago, look no further than to your left at young Prince Charles and the late Lady Di, currently selling on a site called eBid for $3.25.

To commemorate next month’s wedding of their son, Prince William to long-time sweetheart Kate Middleton, no crappy plate that won’t appreciate will do. Instead, the nuptials for these next-gen royals will be celebrated with an app for your iPad from the Apple Store.

According to MSNBC, the app will “turn your iPad into a guide for the royal wedding,” and be “arranged like a digital magazine…[to provide] access to a real-time feed of photos and articles. There are video features, a virtual guest book which you can sign, a feed of recent tweets about the royal couple, and plenty of interactive content.”

The app will be available on April 9, just three weeks before the royal wedding on April 29. By then, of course, shortages should abate and you will doing your royal watch on your shiny new iPad 2.

Click Here for Stupid: Two Guys Arrested for Trying to Trade iPod Touch and Some Marijuana for an iPad Online

For those who like the saying, “You can get anything on the Internet” a Craiglist post from Arizona last week proves that to not always be the case. For instance, you can’t get an iPad by offering to trade your iPod touch and 7 grams of marijuana. But you can get arrested.

That’s what happened to two dudes from Gilbert, Arizona last week (we’ve been kind and only posted the mug shot of one of them here). After posting an ad on Craigslist offering the iPod Touch and pot in exchange for an iPad, police officers posing as idiots interested in the offer got in touch. When suspect one went to accept the iPad in exchange for the dope – busted! Suspect two was charged with being equally stupid and both now face charges of “transportation and sale of marijuana.”

Kids, there are easier (and smarter) ways to get an iPad. Really.

Sources: abc15.com and Mashable.

Photo copyright (c) 2010 The E.W. Scripps Company.

Ferris Bueller and Friends Tweet and Use FourSquare…for an Afternoon

If you’re reading this now, you missed it. An excellent play on Twitter and Foursquare reenacting everybody’s favorite movie from the ’80s — a modern classic — Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

The premise: On May 7, @ferris_bueller appeared on Twitter and began tweeting lines of dialogue from the movie and assorted asides. Other characters like Sloane Peterson (Ferris’ girlfriend), Jeannie Bueller (his sister), Mr. Rooney (the dastardly school principal) and eventually even best friend Cameron and Abe Froman (the Sausage King of Chicago) joined in. (As of this morning, Froman is still tweeting (@FromanSausage).

A Foursquare account was added along the way, and eventually Ferris checked in at Wrigley Field (natch).

And then, according to TechCrunch, just as suddenly as it started, Ferris Bueller’s day on Twitter ended. A final tweet from our hero: “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home…. Go.”

Source: TechCrunch

Never Forget to Pay a Parking Ticket Again: Parkzing

Living in one of these hard-to-park-in big cities like San Francisco, New York, D.C. or Chicago, parking tickets aren’t just an annoyance, they’re a way of life. With the big cities (and the smaller ones) strapped for cash, mayors are making meter maids work harder to ticket more cars per shift for a steady stream of revenue. The more parking tickets become a way of life, the more they get ignored — and the more they get ignored, the more the late fees and penalties add up. Your city gets a shot in the arm, and if you’re particularly unlucky (or forgetful) your car gets the boot.

Parkzing will remind you to pay your tickets so you don’t have to remind yourself. Enter your email address, city and license plate into their system and get a friendly email reminder that you owe some dough for overstaying that meter last week, or worse — double parked in a fire truck in front of hydrant. Whatever the non-moving violation, they will remind you so you won’t incur late fees or penalties.

Only available in San Francisco, New York, D.C. and Chicago right now, but taking requests for other cities. Sign up or request your city join the Parkzing community at this link. A simple technology for the rest of us.

Source: VentureBeat