Repetition can and has proved a deadly political strategy in recent months, but has it necessarily won out voters? I’d like to cite a quote by former USSR leader Vladimir Lenin, reading:

 “A lie told often enough becomes truth.”

The strategic beauty of this quote is simply because it has essentially lasted into the present and proved itself when associated with the past. But what is arguable is that campaigns have put this quote into practice — with political ads. 

With a seventh grade education (and counting), I am not ready to make a statement about a past world war nor am I about to call anything or everything thrown around the political spectrum a “lie,” but it is unimaginable not to disregard that the concept of Lenin’s quote has surrounded our daily lives. Living in California, media outlets and advertising are close to impossible to escape, only escalating as the voting season has transitioned itself into full swing. But what it also noticeable is the volume in which these ads are coming.

For example, Proposition 8, aimed at taking away certain gay rights, has been advertised almost entirely against by No On 8, with a ratio of 5:1 to their opposition, Yes On 8. This lopsided press swing shows a win in funding to No On 8, but it also begs the question: could more ads from one campaign than another ultimately win a large number of votes? 

Obviously gay marriage is an issue that isn’t likely to be effected by the press, but is this also the same in the fragile politics of a national election? 

What strikes me even more is the similarly advertising and funding wise between Barack Obama and No On 8 — both have sufficiently more ads and money than the opposing campaign, and both are seemingly in the lead. 

So I’ll ask the commenters once more — has Obama’s frequent on-air time and sufficient donation lead effected the polls, and will it effect the voting booth?

As search engine powerhouse Google recently released its own web browser, Chrome, marketing strategy crossed with the future of the web, compiling into a tech buzz comparable to the elections this year — change. 

And so sweet it is. Chrome not only offers breakthrough surfing features, but provides light at the end of the tunnel in terms of giving an easy and effective alternate browser to Microsoft’s Slow, Crash-Happy, and Ugly Internet Explorer, which currently occupies 75 percent of the World’s computers.

Also, by creating Chrome, Google finally gets it’s chance to get back at their enemy, Microsoft, which is intent on reducing traffic to Google’s search engine. (shown here when typing in “google chrome” to Microsoft’s own search). 

So what does this really mean for Google? Sadly, not much. Although all tech junkies will most certainly download and use their browser, corralling the millions of technically un-savvy Window’s users will be another task entirely.

As a Los Angeles resident for over 13 years now, I have been accustomed to the two alternate worlds of LA: Beverly Hills, and everywhere else. Recently I made a few trips of longer duration to this hub of stars, and while browsing the shops, I noticed two things. First, the prices, and what they were selling. When it comes to Beverly Hills, the myth is definitely true — everything is overpriced. But, being the teen I am, shopping is not exactly my expertise, so I have never before hit up any of the top notch appointment-only stores in the Hills. But when I first entered these stores and took a look at the price tags, I was blown away. As a southern Californian traveler, I have been accustomed some pretty outrageous stuff around here, but nothing like what was going on over in the BH. Highlights of the store that I browsed while I was wandering included $4,000 Italian motorbike jackets, $40,000 dresses, and my favorite — a $450 cotton undershirt. Now I do understand that this clothing they are selling is the real deal, high quality fabrics, comfortable feel, ect. — but the 450 buck undershirt really struck me as something I may have 10 of in my dresser that was bought for under 5 dollars or less at a popular Polo in a Santa Monica shopping mall. So I made two conclusions: people who buy this stuff are either the filthy rich Los Angeles .com billionaires who own the multiple Ferraris and Gallardos outside, or regular income people who just want to look filthy rich. The answer…was neither. 

The second thing I noticed was who was shopping at these stores. Not only did I not see one resident of Southern California in the stores besides the employees, but everyone in the store wasn’t even from the West — mostly not even America. And at that moment the awful truth struck me — these people (who were actually buying this stuff relentlessly) had fallen under the misconception that makes places like Vegas so famous. If you are looking at a stereotype movie shown about Los Angeles, it is almost guaranteed to show the juiciest parts of LA — the expensive shops that the not even the actors in real life would shop at. My point? To foreigners, Los Angeles is Beverly Hills, and it would be like going to Vegas and not visiting a casino to not feed off of the Hills. In fact, for the average tourist I saw there (a Japanese couple and their two sons), it would be virtually impossible to see the real essence of the great city of Los Angeles without a local to show you away from the luring lies of Beverly Hills, and into the real Los Angeles — the city. For example, when I visit South America in a few weeks, (as an American) I will most certainly be shown into the finest of hotels and dining, probably missing what is really what the whole city is about — digging deep into the rich history and life of the places I will be traveling to. This is the exact same feeling that couple from Japan probably was lured into when traveling to Los Angeles. 

I am not claiming that Beverly Hills is bad for the city, it is an important asset of Los Angeles’s culture. But I encourage all travelers who may be reading this to find someone local and stay away from the tour busses that only shuttle to the glamorous stops, but to really go into Los Angeles and learn — not necessarily the history of the city, but the culture and the town hubs that really show what LA is all about to me — the greatest city ever.

Right after reading a four car performance test on Car and Driver including the Nissan GTR, a Corvette Z06, a Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR, and a Porsche 911 GT2, I was continually flattered by the outstanding performance the GTR offered at such a low price. In fact, it costs over $126,000 less than the Porsche, which by the way I am not a fan of. Out of those four cars, it scored the highest final performance score. But, sadly, leave it to Nissan to make a really powerful car as ugly as they possibly can. Its silver makes me cringe while the black grill saved the car from sitting next to VW mini-van in beauty rankings. To blame Nissan even more, it looks like they had one of their designers try draw an Audi blindfolded.

            Even with all this performance for such a low price, I just wouldn’t buy it. Why? If you saw it pass you on the freeway, would you turn your head? No, you wouldn’t. But what if you saw the tricked out Dodge Viper ACR zooming past you on a freeway? Well, that Viper got about 20 less performance points than a GTR while tested at over fifty thousand bucks more. But the worst problem with pricing that I have ever seen is the Porsche. Some people call it the poor man’s Lamborghini, but in this case, it more expensive than a base Gallardo. Well, I guess that’s the buyer’s decision which one to get…

What About The Penny?

July 14, 2008

To most Americans, a penny saved is a penny earned, but unfortunately for Uncle Sam, this may not be true. It costs the US about 1.28 cents to even make a penny, which produces some mixed feelings. So should the penny be excluded in our currency?  Some people think the little coin is a “rich tradition of America” while others just think is plain annoying. Some people who like the “lucky” coin are moving over to the more technical argument, claiming that paying too much to make the penny is a factor in our faltering economy. Some people I talked to even suggested making the penny out of something else, but what? Obviously not plastic, or we are going to have some more serious problems. Let the debate continue!

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