November 13, 2007

Shit Talkers in War, Offering Useful Insights Into How They Deal With Problems

Filed under: Business, Funny, General — omsarti @ 5:48 pm

What do Anheuser-Busch, The American Bible Society, Snoop Dogg, and the folks who brought you the Girls Gone Wild soft-porn videos have in common? The same public-relations guy: Ronn D. Torossian.

Even in an industry fueled by hype, Torossian stands out. He claims to have evangelist Pat Robertson and Israel’s Prime Minister on speed dial. He carouses with celebrities. He courts controversy–sliming rivals, scrapping with journalists, lobbing public insults on behalf of clients. And, at 33, he has built his New York-based 5W Public Relations into one of America’s fastest-growing independent agencies. “It’s easy to hire [firms like] Burson-Marsteller or Edelman,” Torossian brags. “It takes guts to hire 5W”–Who, What, Where, When, Why.

Torossian has anointed himself the brash new face of PR. And it’s true that few seem better equipped to navigate a celebrity-obsessed culture. One of his biggest coups was getting a newborn Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt photographed in a T-shirt sold by a Denver retailer, 5W’s client Belly; the photo then made the cover of People magazine. Torossian–loud, crass, buzz-obsessed–also echoes the raw, unvarnished discourse of the blogosphere, which he claims to understand better than anyone. Brian Connolly, who founded the irreverent PR blog Strumpette, says Torossian represents “what the industry has become.”

Perhaps, but Torossian and his 85-person agency face a conundrum. The tactical provocations may cut through the media noise. They also could sabotage an agency that has worked with the likes of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola but failed to sign many blue-chip companies (though Torossian says there are several he can’t name). Torossian’s rivals quietly suggest he is more fad than change agent and that modern PR is less about generating buzz than backroom strategy. Not that Torossian, a guy who has been known to issue press releases about himself, expresses any self-doubt. “One of the reasons I’ve grown so quickly is that I’m bright,” he says. “Another is that my competitors are not so bright.” (…)

“They are not currently representing us,” says a McDonald’s spokeswoman. Anheuser-Busch declined to comment. One ex- client says: “I saw more press releases on him than any work for my firm.” Torossian seems aware he may have, well, a PR problem.

{ Business Week | Continue reading }


Forgetting Is an Essential Part of Life

Filed under: Funny, General — omsarti @ 5:47 pm

Every one of us would like to have a better memory, but would it really be advantageous to have a memory like an elephant? Does an elephant really have a good memory?

Elephants certainly have large brains, which may increase their memory capacity and aid their complex patterns of communication. It is not easy to measure with precision the memory span of an elephant; many working elephants can learn and remember a large number of commands. They also appear to recognise many humans, as well as individuals of their own species – even when separated from them for decades.

In the wild, herds of elephants tend to follow similar paths over the years, suggesting that memories are passed down through the generations. It is said that elephant herds have specific burial places and that they help their sick and infirm to return there to die. Elephant remains are often found in groups near water sources; however, this may be simply because malnourished elephants seek water in the hope of improving their condition. Elderly elephants gravitate towards the same water sources when their teeth become worn, as water plants are softer to eat, and many die there near the remains of others. So herds may remember the locations of water sources, but not primarily because of any elephant remains that may be there.

Some elephants have better memories than others. In 2001, a research team led by Karen McComb studied 21 elephant families over a seven-year period in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. They found that the matriarchs leading the herds develop strong “social” memories that enable them to distinguish friends from foes by smell and by contact calls; the older the matriarch, the better her skills. The research confirmed that the better a matriarch is at recognising friends, the more time other family members have to feed and breed in safety and the more calves they produce.

So do elephants have better memories than other animals? One animal whose memory might rival that of the elephant is the Clark’s nutcracker bird of the high mountain regions of the American West, which hoards food for the winter. In the autumn, each bird stashes away up to 100,000 pine seeds in thousands of different caches, with only five to 10 seeds in each to minimise squirrel theft. The hiding places are dotted around an area of 20km2. Some six months later, the bird finds all these stockpiles, even if the sites are a metre deep in snow.

I think we can agree that elephants – particularly the matriarchs – do have good memories. Whether they deserve their status as the memory experts of the animal kingdom is doubtful: they have a serious rival in Clark’s nutcracker bird. The word “birdbrain”, implying limited intelligence, may not be such an insult after all.

{ The Independent | Continue reading }

No matter how much you feed a Wolf, an elephant still has bigger balls” — Russian Saying.

Filed under: Funny, General — omsarti @ 5:45 pm

Circus Elephant, 1920s.

November 11, 2007

One Might Think Detoxification Would Be Difficult. In Malibu, It Takes About Two Minutes.

Filed under: Drugs, Funny — omsarti @ 9:53 pm

From the LA Times

Hollywood rehab can produce unhappy endings, even when the patient isn’t named Lindsay or Britney.

That’s what Kelly Logan learned when he sought treatment for a methamphetamine addiction at Promises Malibu, detox destination to the stars.

Logan’s brother, Garfield, says he paid $42,000 up front to admit the former professional surfer for a month at Promises’ canyon-top Mediterranean-style home. Five days later, he says, Promises kicked Logan out for belligerent behavior but kept all the money.

“They’re scam artists,” said Garfield Logan, a plaintiff in one of four consumer-rights, breach-of-contract and unfair-business-practice lawsuits filed against Promises Malibu and its Westside branch in the last year. Promises has denied the allegations.

The suits and state licensing violations reveal a little-seen side to the high-end rehabilitation centers that have become a Malibu cottage industry and — thanks to such patrons as Promises alums Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears — a tabloid feeding ground. (…)

All of the Malibu centers are for-profit enterprises in a field dominated by not-for-profits. With luxury as a principal appeal, many charge far more than the going rate for residential care. (…)

Promises lawyer Gerald Sauer said that when patients leave early, the balance of the month’s payment is retained for their use if they check back in, or the money is sometimes transferred to other rehab centers where the patients seek treatment. “No one is losing any money,” he said.

“If you leave, your money stays,” said Passages co-founder Chris Prentiss, who added that the center immediately resells the vacated bed — the monthly cost is $67,550 — and that returning patients must wait for the next opening. Their payment stays on account, he said.

But former patients and their relatives who have taken Promises to court maintain that the company intended to unjustly enrich itself at their expense by refusing to refund any money, no matter how short the patients’ stay.

“They get people at their most vulnerable point to turn over huge sums of money,” said Michael Parks, a lawyer for a former patient identified only as John Doe, a 50-year-old lawyer and alcoholic who sued in July. “Promises has a double standard of caring for celebrities first, at the expense of regular people.”

The suit accuses Promises of evicting the plaintiff after a week — and keeping the balance of his $49,000 payment — because of false claims that he had made a “sexually inappropriate remark” to an unnamed celebrity patient.

The Promises staff tolerated “racially insensitive comments” by a celebrity, the suit alleges. Promises denied the allegations. A hearing is set for November.

I Hear Rumours That We’re in Trouble, It’s Just Not True

Filed under: Drugs, Funny — omsarti @ 9:51 pm

new orleans craigslist
my coke for your pot
Date: 2007-09-23, 10:59AM CDT

I have two 12-pack cases of Coca-Cola professionally chilled to 38 degrees F in a white Kenmore 25.1 cu. ft. side-by-side refrigerator/freezer with push button filter.

Looking to trade for your pot. A Kitchen Essentials® from Calphalon® Pro Series Nonstick 6-qt stock pot with cover would be ideal.

‘Gonna dance ’til we burn this disco out.’ — Michael Jackson

Filed under: Funny — omsarti @ 9:50 pm

From the Panther House

Two men are in custody after allegedly attempting to ensnare a member of the Royal Family in a £50,000 gay sex and drugs blackmail plot.

The men allegedly demanded the money after threatening to release a video which they claimed showed the naked royal engaged in a sexual act with a male aide.

They also allegedly claimed that they had evidence that he had supplied the assistant with an envelope, apparently bearing a royal insignia, which contained cocaine. A second video allegedly exists showing the aide taking the drug.

The men, aged 30 and 40, were arrested and charged with blackmail after a police sting operation. The police acted after the royal alerted officers when he received the first threatening telephone call. (…)

While in line to the throne, the royal in question is not a senior member of the family and does not carry out official engagements. (…)

The two men had allegedly tried to sell the tapes to a tabloid newspaper before allegedly embarking on a blackmail plot. When the tabloid deal collapsed they hatched the plot to allegedly approach the royal.

The video footage of the royal aide was allegedly shot in a flat close to Buckingham Palace in an upmarket residential area. It allegedly shows cocaine being cut up on a coffee table with a Harrods charge card before being sniffed by the aide who made claims of a sex act that took place between the two before asking for “more cocaine”. (…)

Scotland Yard’s kidnap and blackmail unit arranged a rendezvous at the London Hilton in Park Lane. They met in a suite but the meeting was filmed secretly by officers in an adjacent room. Part of the video with the royal aide making his sex and drugs claim was allegedly being shown when the police burst in and seized the two men.

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