Apr 302012
 

Not everyone who supports the Occupy Movement is going to be able to skip work or school for the General Strike on Tuesday.  Some might not be able to avoid shopping.  Others are going to need to use an ATM or wash the dishes.  Life isn’t stopping on May Day, but the key to a successful action is avoiding an all-or-nothing attitude.  Anything you can not do on May Day counts, so don’t let working get in the way of your strike.

Here’s some ideas on how worker bees can make the most of the day…

1. GO AFTER WORK – The simplest solution to not being able to get out of work for the General Strike is to join the action as soon as you can after work, or before if you work nights.  Same goes for school.  Check the schedule in your town and in most cases you’ll find that events are going on all day long.  No need to explain your absence during the day for you are better later than never.

2. SPREAD THE WORD – Know someone with the day off?  Make sure they know what’s going on.  Post it on Facebook.  Text it, tweet it, reddit it, digg it, pin it, whatever.  Scream it out the window.  Work the word ‘occupy’ into any conversation you can and then speaking of ask, “Did you hear about the General Strike today?

3. INVITE YOUR CO-WORKERS – If you detect any interest as you spread the word, let them know you are dropping by after work and invite them along.  Not everyone knows what going to a march or rally is like and might be interested but anxious.  More will make it merrier.

4. OCCUPY YOUR CUBE – Print out a few posters from Occuprint, crank up a live stream and your striking day can begin at 9am.  Looks like you’ve got eight hours to brainstorm the perfect sign and a captive audience to test them out on.  Hello, supply closet!

5. OCCUPY THE WATER COOLER - Everyone loves a good office joke and it’s the perfect cover for turning your office into the next encampment.  Start with a funny little sign for your water cooler or coffee machine.  If it’s well received, spend the day seeing how far you can go with it.  You know, for fun.

6. INTER-OFFICE MARCH – Go big with signs, chants and a consensus-established parade route or orchestrate a coincidental moment in time where everyone just happened to want coffee at once.

7. LUNCH HOUR OCCUPATION – If you work close to the action, get yourself and your crew out into it for a long lunch.  If you don’t, eat outside the nearest bank.  Bring lunch from home for bonus points.

8. THE IT’S OCCUPIED – For all those whose workplaces won’t tolerate monkey business nor talk of strikes, you’ve still got options.  The bathroom is humanity’s most tried-and-true refuge.  You could go old school and write something on the wall or just hang out for a while with the paper.  Oh yeah, it’s occupied.

9. OCCUPY THE COPIER – To add a little mystery to the day, take your favorite poster from Occuprint and leave it in the copy machine for someone else to find.  Also good for printers though be mindful if everyone on the network will know it was you.

10. THE PRE-OCCUPY – If you really had your heart set on striking and can’t let it go, try distracting yourself and your colleagues with links to the most draining websites you’ve ever found.  Nothing torpedoes a work day like addictive games such as Desktop Tower Defense or cool Tumblrs like AwesomePeopleHangingOutTogether.

11. DONATE – Since you’re spending the day earning, consider giving a bit to your local Occupy or any Occupy you hear about having trouble with the police. Legal funds are being raised to help folks who get arrested and you’ll sleep like a champ at night knowing you helped someone get out of a holding cell quicker.

Got other ideas?  Please share your own in the comments.
Got something going in your office?  Please share that too.

Still got questions about May Day?  Check out Every Thing You Need To Know About May Day * But Were Afraid To Ask.

Apr 252012
 

By next Tuesday you are going to stop asking questions about whether or not the Occupy Movement really made it through the winter and the coordinated crackdowns of the camps around the world.  Why?  Because by next Tuesday, Earth is going to feel very Occupied.

What’s going on?  That’s what the Every Thing You Need To Know About May Day * But Were Afraid To Ask chart is here to answer…

(click to enlarge)

Join the world in a much needed day off on a Tuesday and SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT MAY 1ST!

Apr 192012
 

What if this really was a letter from Bank of America’s CEO offering up a confession?  Go ahead, pretend…

It’s not the real McCoy of course.  Unknown person(s) have taken it upon themselves to write this letter for Bank of America and you can find out more about why at YourBofA.com.  The site has been set up to solicit ideas and encourage creativity in reimagining your Bank of America, including a bank ad meme generator, for which Ape Con Myth wrote a few entries.  Click through to share your favorite!

In situations like this, it’s important to start out light.

Ease into your subject.  What is the point of a bank in the first place?

If a bank is a business, then should banking be a mutually beneficial arrangement?

Bank of America was a presumptuous name from the start.  General Bank might have been a more appropriate choice, but they wanted the whole enchilada.  The question is, was it a self-fulfilling prophecy that they turned out to be as bad with their money as us?

[Your Bank of America via Forbes]
[Related: Hungry, Hungry Hippos (or Banking Mergers 1990-2009]

Apr 182012
 

Every week 250 lucky American consumers are quizzed on their thoughts about the economy, the “buying climate” and their own personal finances.  The result is called the Bloomberg US Weekly Consumer Comfort Index, or COMFCOMF if you’re sitting at a Bloomberg terminal, and for the last five years the response has indicated consistent discomfort.

(click for interactive chart)

What’s behind the recent jump in sentiment?  We don’t know either but if you find out put it in the comments.

Where the Trees Are

 Posted by on April 17, 2012
Apr 172012
 

Trees.  They’re great, until they’re in the way.  Forests once covered half the land on Earth and now claim less than a third of it.  Why might we care?  Here’s NASA with a few reasons:

Trees cool and moisten our air and fill it with oxygen. They calm the winds and shade the land from sunlight. They shelter countless species, anchor the soil, and slow the movement of water. They provide food, fuel, medicines, and building materials for human activity.

Modern life is great at detaching us from our natural surroundings.  While the paragraph above contains words like ‘oxygen’, ‘soil’, ‘water’, ‘food’, ‘fuel’ and ‘medicine’, which on The $100,000 Pyramid could elicit “Things Critical To Human Life”, it still doesn’t necessarily make the connection.  We know we need trees.  That’s why we’re using them.


Thanks to a six year collaboration between the Woods Hole Research Center, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Geological Survey, we now have very detailed knowledge of the state of biomass in the United States.  4 pixels per acre to be exact…

(click for much larger image)

It’s good someone is paying attention.  Don’t think for a second we couldn’t chop every one of them down.  (Think buffalo.)  Now with the tree inventory, we’ve hopefully got what we need to carve out a future without it falling down all around us.

[Maps from NASA 1, 2, 3 via Geek.com]

A History of Things Worth Knowing

 Posted by on April 16, 2012
Apr 162012
 

If you think you can get lost surfing the internet, try adding another dimension to it by going through old newspapers online.  It can be a strange experience looking at a past that is at once so familiar and yet somehow alien.  A quarter page might be more than most can handle and a close look at a single ad can send you down the most random of rabbit holes.

Take this ad from the November 27th, 1873 edition of The Weekly Kansas Chief

Turns out we’ve been attempting to assemble useful knowledge into a single volume for longer than you’d think.  Didn’t they know they were clueless back in 2012 1873?   Yes, as one reviewer on Amazon notes of Joseph Triemens’ Manual of Ready Reference, “the material in this book is out of date”, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t learn something from it.  Project Gutenburg has a copy of the 1911 edition you can peruse for free to find out how to keep your canary birds “healthy and in good song”, be reminded that duration of copyright is “fifty-six years in all” or hear that:

the two great apostles of the evolution theory were Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. The latter began his great work, the “First Principles of Philosophy,” showing the application of evolution in the facts of life, in 1852. In 1859 appeared Darwin’s “Origin of Species.” The hypothesis of the latter was that different species originated in spontaneous variation, and the survival of the fittest through natural selection and the struggle for existence. This theory was further elaborated and applied by Spencer, Darwin, Huxley, and other writers in Europe and America, and though to-day by no means all the ideas upheld by these early advocates of the theory are still accepted, evolution as a principle is now acknowledged by nearly all scientists. It is taken to be an established fact in nature, a valid induction from man’s knowledge of natural order.

Looks like we need to send a few copies of this one to some people in the present.  If you find yourself unearthing some gems from its pages, please share your favorite “Things Worth Knowing” in the comments.

[Image from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America archive]

Apr 132012
 

It’s easy to do what everyone else is doing and eventually we might find out that’s been our only problem all along.  If you question how different daily life could be, witness what one artist and a 90 piece marching band were able to do in the city of Denver.

Now imagine what kind of show 7 billion people could be putting on if everyone wasn’t so busy taking it.

[from Lee Walton's Playing Apart]
[See also: 7 of 27]

Apr 112012
 

Ape Con Myth
Internal Memo
April 11, 2012

Re: With Choices Like These

Who forgot to open a file on advertising?  00265 it is then.  Thanks to Hulu for the incredible specimen with which we start this collection.

How many people do you think found out?

Perhaps the first thing to do here is not start a long game of what’s wrong with this picture.  Let’s find out for ourselves.  Not about Scientology, but advertising. While it would seem we are all so connected these days that word of mouth could save us from the constant interruption and visual noise, let’s go the other direction with it first and be part of the supposed problem.

Is it alright that it only takes a few cents to get this in front of thousands of eyeballs?