Print

Ten Super Bowl commercials to look forward to this year

Written by Nicole Martin on .

The Steelers will not be playing in the Super Bowl this year, but Pittsburgh will have a reason to tune in for the big game on Sunday because this will not be just about the Broncos and the Seahawks. It's about which company will come up with the most amusing ad so that we consider buying its product.

So much for betting on the teams, I've got my money on capitalism!

Here are the best ads to keep an eye out for this coming Sunday.

 

1. Dannon Oikos — Spill

In a teasing teaser, John Stamos is doing what he does best, making women swoon... until he takes his pants off.

2. Budweiser Puppy Love

When I think of beer I always think of heartwarming moments and sappy love songs, don't you? Adorable puppies and horses and how they become friends, that's what Budweiser is all about, obviously.

3. 2015 Hyundai Genesis Dad’s Sixth Sense

It's sentimental, OK? The super dads preventing disasters... still wondering whether featuring supermoms and calling it Mom's Sixth Sense would be closer to reality.

4. Jaguar British Villains ‘Rendezvous’

"Have you ever noticed in Hollywood films that all the villains are played by Brits?" Well, Jaguar has, and they want you to know --“It’s good to be bad.” I would have to agree.

5. Bud Light Arnold Schwarzenegger Ping-Pong

Anything involving Schwarzenegger is a must see. He is not quite a Terminator in this one though, a bad rug, stilted moves and not a very attractive pair of legs. Is that what Bud Light does to you?

 

6. Cheerios And a puppy..

OK, so this is basically an ad selling you cardboard rings for breakfast, almost as terrible as rice cakes. (But seriously though, who actually likes rice cakes?) This kid is pretty darn clever though.

 

7. New Castle Anna Kendrick non-commercial

Well done, New Castle. This clever satire on a “cancelled” Super Bowl commercial is very well played. You can decide whether Anna Kendrick is just hot or beer-commercial hot?

 

8. Ford Rob Riggle

The teaser for this James Franco commercial is enough to intrigue. I just hope it’s not another copycat Old Spice commercial theme.

9. Doritos Finger Cleaner

This will be just one of the many Doritos commercials that air during the big game. But this one is a Yikes.... makes me cringe.

10. SodaStream 'Sorry, Coke and Pepsi’

This commercial may or may not be airing during the Super Bowl, but it is definitely worth mentioning. This controversial ad has rumored to be banned due to the line, ‘Sorry, Coke and Pepsi.’ The network seems to be a little scared of the consequences of calling out two of their biggest sponsors. You may see a censored version of the ad, but here is the better version.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Why is Pittsburgh so... great? And Portland so...?

Written by Mila Sanina on .

Why is Pittsburgh so great? Why is Baltimore so... bad? And why is Harrisburg the capital of Pa.? 

A recent piece in The Atlantic explored how Google autocompletes results for 50 states "Why is [insert the state] so..." 
 
So when you type in Google, "Why is Pennsylvania is so...." Google will greet you with "Why Pennsylvania is so haunted...."
 
haunted
 
The Atlantic made a tongue-and-cheek claim that Google Autocomplete is one way to explore collective psyche.
 
So we thought, "OK, let's take a look at the collective psyche apropos cities in Pennsylvania and other cities."
 
How about Pittsburgh?
 
pittsburgh
 
Why is Philadelphia so....
 
philly

Why is Harrisburg so...

 harrisburg

Let's take a look at Pittsburgh's rival cities...

Why is Baltimore so...

baltimore

And lastly, why is Portland so... Weird, right? 

weird

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Military aircraft fly over Pittsburgh before Obama's visit to West Mifflin, Pa.

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

David Conrad for king of Pittsburgh

Written by Kim Lyons on .

A piece that actor David Conrad wrote for the Post-Gazette nearly three years ago continues to draw readers to our website.

'David Conrad says it's hardly polite to be outside Pittsburgh' was one of our top-five most-viewed articles in 2013. It's a lovely, enduring valentine to his hometown: 

Know what you're doing, honestly. Know where you work best in a situation, and who you can serve. Know where you're from. Know your "place."

Me? My place is Pittsburgh.

 

His 2013 follow-up piece, 'More than just being polite' thanking Pittsburghers for the overwhelming response to this piece was equally lovely (seriously, the guy loves Pittsburgh and is a terrific writer):

The letters I've been given speak together like a chorale, a song to a city and its people. A prayer for what it turns out a great many of us have been given by those who came before.

I've been blessed to hear it. You. Humbled.

Last night, he told WQED's Michael Bartley he wasn't worried that living in Pittsburgh may have negatively affected his Hollywood career (h/t Virginia Montanez):

 

 

I think it's time we seriously discuss some kind of official appointment for David Conrad. He's already one of Pittsburgh's best ambassadors. Maybe "king" is a little much, but, do we have an official David Conrad Day in Pittsburgh?
If not, let's get on it, OK?

David-Conrad-Pittsburgh-skyline

Post-Gazette photo of David Conrad by Andy Starnes

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Punxsutawney dreaming: Were Bill and Phil both confused?

Written by Mila Sanina on .

Bill Murray does not have an agent. It's hard to know his schedule or his plans. He is a private person, but, rumor has it that when fans are lucky enough to run into him on the street, he frequently surprises them by being approachable and very generous. 

So, four days ago he surprised us again by showing up on Reddit for an Ask Me Anything session

groundhog-day-bill-murray-5People submitted more than 500 questions for him, then they voted up those they wanted to be answered and Bill Murray got to pick which ones to answer. The questions were all over, folks inquired about his views on peanut butter and pickle sandwiches, his thoughts on recreational marijuana, the Monuments Men script and the current cast of SNL.

His answers are funny, witty and sincere. 

Someone asked: "What is it like being so awesome?"

Bill Murray: "Well, nothing prepared me for being this awesome. It's kind of a shock. It's kind of a shock to wake up every morning and be bathed in this purple light."

There was also a question about a movie every Pennsylvanian must have heard about it if not seen:

"Every year my dad and I watch Groundhog Day together on Groundhog Day. It's one of my favorite movies of all time. What was it like filming the same scenes over, and over, and over?"

Bill Murray:  "Well, that part was fine, the filming of the scenes over and over because you know that's what the story is. The scripts is one of the greatest conceptual scripts I've ever seen. It's a script that was so unique, so original, and yet it got not acclaim. To me it was no question that it was the greatest script of the year. To this day people are talking about it, but they forget no one paid any attention to it at the time. The execution of the script, there were great people in it. It was a difficult movie to shoot because we shot in winter outdoors. If you ever get to go to Puxatawney, you should go, it is one of the few things that is BETTER than advertised. It's really something to see. But doing the movie, shooting the scenes over and over, it's like an acting challenge. It's like doing a play and those same scenes over and over and again, so you can try to make it better or deeper or funnier than you made it previously."

Added: Nice quote, right? And a strong endorsement of Punxsutawney from Bill Murray... except, as one of our editors pointed out, Groundhog Day was shot almost entirely in Woodstock, Illinois and not in Punxsutawney, Pa., every person in Woodstock knows it, apparently, there is even a plaque in the town square where Bill Murray's character stepped into a puddle. So, was Bill confused beyond the typo? 

In all fairness to Bill Murray, although the movie was not shot in Woodstock, he did visit Punxsutawney to do research and then to promote the movie, as @BillyRayKDKA and @jtkola pointed out on Twitter. In fact, Erik D. Scholl (‏@BigMother40 on Twitter) tweeted that both Bill Murray and Harold Ramis were in Punxsutawney in 1992 on Groundhog Day before starting the filming, and Erik D. Scholl met them both.

***** 

If you want to read more quotes from Bill Murray and find out his views on Mendel, you should definitely read the entire AMA with Bill Murray.

Have you ever participated in Reddit's AMA? Do you have a favorite? Is there any Pittsburgh newsmaker you think should do a Reddit AMA?

 

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

Friends of Cathy Cairns seek assistance

Written by Kim Lyons on .

Cathy Cairns was a staff writer the Post-Gazette long before I got here, so I never worked with her. But reading up on her a little bit, I wish I had.

cathy cairnsCathy Cairns/photo courtesy David RohmIn a 1988 Q&A with the Beaver County Times, when she was executive director of the Aliquippa Alliance for Unity and Development Corp., Ms. Cairns said she had "never seen anything in Aliquippa I didn't like" and, that her dream was to see "the mills torn down and replaced by competitive employers."

In that interview, she talked about her arrest at a demonstration at the former LTV Steel Corp., and confessed the habit she couldn't break was "putting together unusual projects that shouldn't work, but do."

Ms. Cairns is currently battling cancer, and is in hospice care. The prognosis isn't good, her friends say, and they've started a crowdfunding campaign to help with her final bills, and to ensure she receives a proper burial: http://www.gofundme.com/64otao

Did you know Cathy Cairns? Her friends would like to hear from you.

 

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.
Print

How Pittsburgh's open data might compare to other cities'

Written by Ethan Magoc on .

potholes pittsburgh 311Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto watches the pothole patching crew from Pittsburgh Public Works Division 5 fill potholes with asphalt cold patch on Sutherland St. in Pittsburgh's Sheraden neighborhood on Jan. 15, 2014. Seeing where people request pothole help and how frequently they're filled could be easier if Pittsburgh's open data legislation passes.                                  (Bob Donaldson / Post-Gazette)

 

After Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak introduced an open data bill at a Tuesday press conference a lively online discussion followed on the city’s proposed legislation.

 

It was met with overall enthusiasm, but beyond basics like pothole locations and crime reports, it doesn’t yet have specifics in line with what groups like Pittsburgh Data Works are hoping to see.

 

Thirty five cities and a handful of counties have adopted open data, according to data.gov.

 

To explore potential implications of the proposal for Pittsburgh, let’s take a look at what other cities are doing in the open data realm:

 

  • 311 reports: Honolulu as opposed to Pittsburgh offers its 311 hotline dataset in an easily downloadable format. In Pittsburgh, the data needs to be requested before it can be analyzed. For example, reporter Emily DeMarco while working on 2012 Pittsburgh pothole investigation for PublicSource had to file a right-to-know request, the request was denied “on grounds that releasing the records would have a chilling effect on the public’s use of the call center,” DeMarco wrote. “But by that point, another city official had emailed me a redacted version of the database.”

  • City employee salaries: Want to know how much each person on the Boston city payroll takes home? From the schools superintendent to the lowest-paid janitor? Boston offers such reports on an annual basis. They include overtime, so you can see how many police made at least $50,000 in overtime pay. (Answer: 130.)
  • Violation tickets: Champaign, Ill., summarizes its most commonly issued violation tickets over the past decade. Alcohol-related citations accounted for about half of each year’s total. On the same Champaign site, by the way, you can see a detailed inventory of every one of the 26,940 trees the city owns — if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • Towed vehicles: Baltimore lists a live log of cars the city has had to tow. Time towed, storage yard, license plate number and vehicle make are among the items included. About 61,000 vehicles have been towed there since October 2010.
  • Fire hydrants: Integral to putting out fires in a city, but where exactly are they located? Do certain neighborhoods have more than others? Madison, Wisc., offers an answer in map form on its data portal.
  • FOIA requests: Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications updates daily its list of received Freedom of Information Act requests.
    • Benjamin Smith, Pittsburgh’s open records officer, said he doesn’t know if Pittsburgh would offer something similar. When asked about a list of all-right-to-know requests, Smith said, “I’ve never had that kind of request.” Meta, right? As for the average number of right-to-know requests, according to Smith, Pittsburgh receives about one a day.

Join the conversation:

To report inappropriate comments, abuse and/or repeat offenders, please send an email to socialmedia@post-gazette.com and include a link to the article and a copy of the comment. Your report will be reviewed in a timely manner. Thank you.