Apolitical Archives - Page 4 of 198 - SaintPetersBlog

Super Bowl ads go political in a big way

Messages about America, inclusiveness — and, yes, even “four years of awful hair” — kept bubbling up in Super Bowl 51 ads from Airbnb, the NFL and a line of personal care products. But there was still plenty of escapism and light humor for those who weren’t into the politics.

As the New England Patriots edged out the Atlantic Falcons on the field in Houston, Airbnb touted inclusiveness with an ad showing faces of different ethnicities and the copy: “We all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.”

Coca-Cola aired a previously run ad during the pregame show in which people sing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. And Budweiser ran a 60-second spot chronicling co-founder Adolphus Busch’s migration from Germany to St. Louis in 1857, prompting some critics to start a boycott campaign on Twitter.

 Even a hair care brand dipped into politics: The “It’s a 10” hair brand indirectly referenced President Donald Trump‘s famously unruly do in its Super Bowl spot.

It’s tough to be a Super Bowl advertiser, period. But this year, a divisive political climate has roiled the nation since Trump took office in January, making it even tougher for advertisers.

Advertisers who paid $5 million for 30 seconds had to walk the line with ads that appealed to everyone and didn’t offend. Some were more successful than others.

“Anxiety and politics just loom over this game, so anybody who gives us the blessed relief of entertaining with a real Super Bowl commercial wins,” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO of the ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein.

Several ads aimed for just that. Tide, for instance, offered a humorous ad showing announcer Terry Bradshaw trying frantically to remedy a stain while his antics go “viral” online, with the help of New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski and actor Jeffrey Tambor.

WALKING THE POLITICAL LINE

“Brands used to worry about whether their ad could be interpreted as right or wrong,” said Kelly O’Keefe, a marketing professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Now they have to worry about whether it will be interpreted as right or left.”

Plenty of ads walked that line.

An NFL spot conveyed what all advertisers hope the Super Bowl becomes: a place where Americans can come together. “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there’s more that unites us,” Forest Whitaker intoned in a voiceover as workers prepped a football field and gridiron scenes played.

“The Super Bowl is shaping up as a counterpoint to the divisiveness in the United States,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University.

Airbnb’s ad was one of the more overtly political, showing a variety of different faces with the tagline “We accept.”

Some thought the ad was a hit. “Kudos to them for making a strong statement,” said O’Keefe. But others, such as Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor, thought it didn’t have a clear enough link to the brand and risked coming off as a “purely political statement.”

Budweiser drew some criticism for the immigration theme of its ad, including calls on Twitter to boycott the brewer. That fostered debate — and banter — online, particularly over one hashtag that misspelled the company’s name, #boycottbudwiser.

Other advertisers took the safest route possible by re-airing ads they’ve used before — an unusual, though not unprecedented, move. Coca-Cola, Google and Fiji water all aired rerun ads.

During the pre-game show, Coca-Cola ran “It’s Beautiful,” an ad featuring people around the country drinking the fizzy beverage and singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages.

SURPRISES

A debut Super Bowl spot by the “It’s a 10” hair care brand introduced its line of men’s products by joking about Donald Trump‘s hair.

“America, we’re in for four years of awful hair, so it’s up to you to do your part by making up for it with great hair,” went a voiceover state as black-and-white photos of people with a wide array of hairstyles flashed by. “Do your part. … Let’s make sure these next four years are ‘It’s a 10.'”

Snickers got press by airing a live ad In the third quarter. On a Wild West set, actor Adam Driver seemed not to know the ad was live — and then the set fell apart (on purpose). “You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the ad’s tagline read.

“It went by so fast, I almost missed it,” DiMassimo said. “Not sure it was worth the trouble of doing it live.”

LIGHT HUMOR PLUS CELEBS

Ads with light humor and stuffed with celebrities were popular. Honda’s ad made a splash by animating the yearbook photos of nine celebrities ranging from Tina Fey to Viola Davis. They make fun of their photos — Jimmy Kimmel is dressed in a blue tux and holding a clarinet, for example — and talk about “The Power of Dreams,” Honda’s ad slogan.

“It was a really good message and it was entertaining,” said Mirta Desir, a New Orleans native who works in education and was watching the game on Long Island.

The Tide ad with Terry Bradshaw was a hit with some viewers because of the way it tricked viewers into thinking it was part of the broadcast. “It made you think twice,” said Pablo Rochat, watching in Atlanta. “There was funny dialogue and good storytelling.”

T-Mobile’s spots — which featured Justin Bieber and Rob Gronkowski dancing , Kristen Schaal in a “50 Shades of Grey” parody and Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg mixing talk about T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan with innuendo about Snoop’s marijuana habit, won raves from some — as did an ad from antioxidant drink maker Bai featuring Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us
military

Lawyers married to military could bypass bar exam in Florida

The Florida Bar wants lawyer-spouses of active military members stationed in Florida to be able to practice law here without having to take the state bar exam.

The Bar, which regulates the state’s 100,000-plus licensed attorneys, filed its request with the Florida Supreme Court last week. The change would require court approval.

Twenty-three other states, including Texas and New York, “have adopted a military spouse rule,” the Bar’s petition says. It “received no comments in opposition.”

“Due to the unique mobility requirements of military families, lawyers licensed in a jurisdiction other than Florida often have to relocate to Florida with their spouse who is in the military,” the petition explains. “Currently, that lawyer is unable to engage in the practice of law in Florida” without passing the state bar exam.

There were “over 900 military spouse attorneys worldwide as of November 2013,” according to the Military Spouse JD Network.

“Moving to Florida and taking the Florida Bar Examination is often impractical because of the timing of the deployment to Florida and the dates the bar examination is given,” in February and July, and only in Tampa, the Bar’s petition adds.

“The timing issues could result in the military spouse being reassigned before the lawyer spouse is admitted … For these reasons, some lawyer spouses choose to remain in the jurisdiction where they are licensed, splitting families apart while the military spouse is stationed in Florida.”

The new rule “would only apply to lawyers who are spouses of active military personnel stationed in Florida,” and they would be considered Florida lawyers only “during the time their military spouse is stationed in Florida.”

“Although the number of military spouse attorneys is relatively small, the positive impact of this proposed rule on their families will be enormous,” said a report by the Military Spouse JD Network to the Bar.

Its passage “will send a clear message that the Florida legal community encourages the participation of the talented diverse group of military spouse attorneys.”

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Making your Super Bowl party a touchdown with ‘Fresh From Florida’ recipes

On Super Bowl Sunday, fans can beat the spread – of waistlines – with healthy and flavorful recipes and a touch(down) of Florida freshness.

For a fun and healthy Super Bowl Sunday, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is offering four quick and easy meals and snacks to prepare just before kickoff.

Each dish features delicious seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables produced here in the Sunshine State. Many of the products come with the “Fresh From Florida” label available at local grocery stores, helping everyone be ready for the big game.

“If you’re looking for a few quick and simple recipes for Sunday’s big game, these ‘Fresh From Florida’ recipes are real winners, and they feature produce grown by Florida’s farmers and seafood caught in Florida’s waters,” Putnam says.

Here is this year’s “Fresh From Florida” lineup:

Florida Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Sweet Corn and Black Bean Enchiladas

 

Florida Pink Shrimp Boil

Taco-Stuffed Florida Bell Peppers

To learn which Florida crops are in season, browse recipes and learn more about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Florida State’s newest recruiting weapon — honey fried chicken

Friday was honey fried chicken day in the Figg Family Dining Hall at Florida State University, but the dish has been gaining a lot of attention since Wednesday.

During an interview on ESPN before making his announcement, defensive tackle Marvin Wilson raved about the chicken.

“I was like that sounds suspect, so I grabbed one piece. I finished that one piece of chicken. I went grabbed the whole pan, and put it on the table, and we killed that whole pan of honey fried chicken,” Wilson said. “That’s probably the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.”

LSU and Ohio State were thought to have the inside track on Wilson, but in the end, Florida State had the upper hand … or in this case drumstick.

Florida State sports nutritionist Kayli Hrdlicka said she didn’t think the chicken was the deciding factor for Wilson, but was happy that it was mentioned.

Hrdlicka said the dish is offered on Friday’s as a way to reward athletes and staff after a hard week of training and studies. It is also on the Monday night menu during football season along with crab legs if the Seminoles win.

“It is a recipe that is specific to the dining hall. They do a great job in making it with a lot of care and it is delicious,” she said.

Wilson was one of four five-star prospects that the Seminoles signed on Wednesday. Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins, who was the primary recruiter of Lewis, was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Recruiter of the Year by 247Sports. FSU assistant and recruiting coordinator Tim Brewster also had a big role. The Seminoles’ class is rated sixth in the consensus rankings.

After Florida State tweeted out the honey fried chicken video on Friday, Wilson was quick with his seal of approval.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Boys are smarter. Even six-year-olds know that.

By age six, our daughters have internalized the belief that they are not as smart as boys. Boys think so, too. That works well for the bipartisan coalition of Men Who Like Things The Way They Are, but makes for “a pathological system that rewards men for their incompetence while punishing women for their competence to the detriment of everybody.”

TED-talker and professor of business psychology Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic explains that “anywhere in the world, men tend to think they are much smarter than women.” By the time they’re out of high school, they have a well-practiced knack for hiding insecurity in a cloak of hubris decorated with charisma and charm that is easily, and wrongly, confused with leadership potential.

We can’t discern between confidence and competence, Prof. Premuzic argues, no matter how many times our male leaders fail us. There is “compelling scientific evidence” that women are more likely to adopt strategies that work, but they lack the talent for bragging, bloviating, bullying and beer-drinking required to get themselves into positions of real power.

Let’s not blame men for what they learned from their mothers and mostly female kindergarten teachers. Let’s not blame women, either. You can’t change 200,000 years of evolutionary biology overnight.

Feminists have been around since biblical times, making a difference here and there by whispering in the ears of their fathers, sons, husbands, and bosses who put them on the payroll to pretend they care what women think about anything. Ivanka Trump knows the drill. She might be the President’s favorite child, but the President’s advisers on “women in the workplace” are the 50-something male CEOs of Wal-Mart, and Ernst & Young.

Criss Jami, a writer and millennial wise beyond his years, observed that “Creative people are often found either disagreeable or intimidating by mediocrities.” That’s not likely to change in Dr. Premuzic’s lifetime, no matter how much peer-reviewed and beautifully expressed research he produces. You can’t take human nature out of human nature. But you can call things by their right name.

 

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Meet the new Nokia, supplier of Florida’s law enforcement communications network

When most people hear the name Nokia, they think mobile phones. But Nokia is and always has been about much more than that.

Today, Nokia is one of the world’s premier providers of communications networking technology, a transformation that has been underway since 2012. This process included the integration of the carrier networking businesses of Motorola, Siemens and most recently the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, the French-American global telecommunications equipment company. Through this acquisition, Nokia also acquired Bell Labs, the renowned innovation powerhouse. As a result of these moves, Nokia now holds a leading or dominant position in nearly all aspects of the market for communications networks.

According to the Dell’Oro Group, Nokia ranks worldwide No. 2 in 4G/LTE, No. 1 in packet microwave radio systems, No. 2 in IP Edge Routing, No. 1 in copper broadband access and No. 2 in fiber access.

Nokia also has unparalleled R&D track record, currently holding more than 30,000 patent families and having been home to researchers that won eight Nobel Prizes. More than 40,000 research and development professionals are driving innovation in the newest technological domain — the internet of things (IoT) – and are making advances in the cloud, virtualization and 5G connectivity, each of which will profoundly impact our day-to-day lives in the digital world.

For example, to fully realize just one of the more exciting advancements — autonomous vehicles — requires a network powerful enough to react instantaneously to what’s happening on the road, and can operate at a massive scale.

More important, this technology will also give first responders – including those in Florida – with tools that will enable them to do their jobs more safely and efficiently. For example, emergency crews could be equipped with body-worn state-of-the-art high-definition cameras, drones, and other technologies that will enable a command and control center to fully visualize a crisis scene in real time. These upgrades will be a vast improvement over present-day two-way radio systems and 3G/4G based in-car mobile data, currently the primary means of communication for emergency and public safety professionals.

While Nokia maintains a global presence, some of the company’s deepest roots remain here in the United States — the world’s most innovative market that is constantly driving emerging trends.

Between its significant U.S. operations, its Bell Labs research and innovation arm its IP/Optical networks and Applications & Analytics business groups, the new Nokia employs tens of thousands nationwide.

As a major presence in the U.S. communications market, Nokia is far from a new player. In fact, Nokia has played a leading role in the introduction of very high-speed wireless connectivity in the U.S., supplying 4G LTE networks to the 4 major national mobile operators — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — as well as many regional service providers.

In 2016, Nokia announced partnerships with major U.S. operators to develop the next generation of wireless connectivity, 5G. This service upgrade will give unparalleled wireless connection speeds and truly enable the ‘Internet of Things.’ Such lightning-fast connections will open the floodgates for a range of new services including autonomous cars and long-range drone flights.

These same innovations will also drive the digital transformation of a variety of industries, which will benefit from the modernization of their mission-critical systems. This transformation is already underway, and Nokia is at the heart of this transformation, providing mission-critical networks for energy and transportation concerns, governments and large enterprises such as banks and health care providers.

In the public safety arena, Nokia collaborates with many state agencies, including in Florida, where – for more than two decades – Florida’s Statewide Law Enforcement Radio System (SLERS) has relied on Nokia backhaul technology.

In 2017, as Florida begins to modernize SLERS, Nokia will be there to provide the industry-leading IP backhaul and networking technology for P25 digital radio technology — the standard in digital radio communications for public safety organizations in North America.

This backhaul network will play a crucial role in maintaining a baseline service available 24/7, secure from hacking and cyber-attacks. Since Florida’s new backhaul network will be in place for at least a decade, it is set to be a foundation for numerous future uses beyond simple voice communications, and will be at the heart of the digital transformation of Florida’s public safety as well as potentially many other state agencies.

To best safeguard the health and security of its citizens, Florida needs a partner with financial resources, technological strength and unmatched innovation capability to support and scale these services for the long run. Nokia is uniquely qualified to take on just such a role.

Florida’s law enforcement community requires the best technology to protect and save lives; the new Nokia will be there, ready to help.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

New character breakfast coming to Disney’s Boardwalk

Disney is offering a chance to dine with royal couples to its character experiences, some so popular they have to be booked six months in advance.

Breakfast with characters from Disney films, “Tangled” and “The Little Mermaid,” will debut this spring at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk. This adds another option to the 14 character dining opportunities offered at Walt Disney World Resort.

The character dining experiences are so popular that Disney recommends booking two months in advance. The four princess meals are often booked solid six months ahead so this new offering adds another opportunity to see a live princess.

The meals are pricey but allow children to interact with characters without waiting in long lines at the parks. The characters wander through the restaurant giving children high fives and hugs, while signing autographs or posing for photos. The meals range from $30-$58 for adults and $16-23 for children.

Disney has not released the price or start date for the new Trattoria al Forno character breakfast, so reservations are not yet available.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Critics don’t even want animatronic Donald Trump to speak

Some critics of President Donald Trump are so adamant in their opposition that they don’t even want a fake version of him to speak.

An online petition was started last week, asking Walt Disney World to keep an animatronic Trump silent in its Hall of Presidents attraction.

The attraction has animatronic figures of all U.S. presidents. Recent incumbent presidents have recorded speeches for their animatronic doubles.

The Change.org petition says Trump ran a campaign filled with hateful speech and he doesn’t deserve to have a voice at a place like Disney World in Florida.

A Disney spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email and call seeking comment.

The Hall of Presidents temporarily closed earlier this month so the new animatronic president could be installed.

It reopens in June.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Self-driving car prototypes need less human help, data show

Self-driving car prototypes appear to be getting better at negotiating California streets and highways without a human backup driver intervening, according to data made public Wednesday by California transportation regulators.

The data reflect safety-related incidents reported by 11 companies that have been testing more than 100 vehicles on public roads, primarily in the Silicon Valley neighborhoods where the technology has grown up. The reports were made to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which posted them online.

The documents catalog the number of times from December 2015 through the end of November that humans took over control from a car’s software for safety reasons.

Waymo, as Google’s self-driving car project was recently rebranded, did far more testing than the other 10 companies combined.

Waymo reported that its fleet drove itself more than 635,000 miles with 124 safety-related “disengagements,” which must be reported when the technology fails or the backup driver takes control out of concern the car is malfunctioning.

The Google project’s disengagement rate was the equivalent of two incidents every 10,000 miles, a notable decrease over the prior year, when there were eight disengagements per 10,000 miles.

“This four-fold improvement reflects the significant work we’ve been doing to make our software and hardware more capable and mature,” Dmitri Dolgov, Waymo’s head of self-driving technology wrote in a blog post.

Waymo’s chief critic acknowledged the improvement, but John Simpson of the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog said the number of disengagements shows the cars still “simply aren’t ready to be released to roam our roads” without human backup drivers.

Cruise Automation, a startup acquired last year by General Motors, reported driving the second most test miles.

Cruise said its prototypes had 181 disengagements over 9,776 miles (185 per 10,000 miles) and that it was “pleased with our progress” during testing on the complex streets of San Francisco.

Though imperfect, the data represent the best peek the public gets into the secretive and fiercely competitive world of self-driving cars and how the prototypes are performing.

California required the disengagement reports as part of regulations governing testing on public roads. Separately, the state also requires companies to report any collisions involving its cars.

When the technology will be ready for the public depends on several factors, including regulators’ readiness and company confidence the vehicles are safe.

While Tesla’s Elon Musk has been bullish, talking about months rather than years, companies such as Waymo have suggested 2017 or 2018 is more realistic.

Tesla’s disengagement report said four prototypes drove a total of 550 miles last fall, experiencing 182 disengagements — the equivalent of 3,309 disengagements every 10,000 miles.

Tesla logged the miles primarily to develop a publicly posted video, set to the Rolling Stones song “Paint It Black,” of the driver’s seat perspective in a car where a person does not have to put their hands on the wheel or feet on the pedals. The video promoted how Tesla was shipping cars with advanced sensors that will be activated in the future.

The company already is gathering tens of millions of miles of real-world data when owners engage the current Autopilot feature, which can control steering and speed but is not sophisticated enough to make the cars self-driving from the regulatory perspective.

The Department of Motor Vehicles has been working for several years on regulations that will govern how the technology can be rolled out to the public when companies believe testing shows it is ready.

The state expects to release final “public operation” regulations within six weeks, according to Melissa Figueroa, a spokeswoman for California’s State Transportation Agency.

The Department of Motor Vehicles, which is part of the agency, made public a first draft in December 2015, nearly a year after final rules were supposed to be in place. The department has since revised the language based on developments at the federal level and input from industry and other groups.

The agency and the department declined comment on the reports released Wednesday.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us

Trayvon Martin’s parents describe his impact in new book

Trayvon Martin‘s parents say they hope that by telling their story in a new book, they can pay tribute to their son and help others.

“Rest in Power” by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin was released Tuesday.

The book’s narration alternates between Fulton and Martin describing their lives before Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman five years ago and the impact of his death.

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, was acquitted of second-degree murder after fatally shooting 17-year-old Martin, who was unarmed and walking back from a convenience store.

The case sparked protests and a national debate about race relations. The Justice Department later decided not to prosecute Zimmerman on civil rights charges.

The book is being published by an imprint of Random House.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Linkedin
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit
Share On Stumbleupon
Share On Youtube
Contact us
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons