Archive for October, 2011

Radio Advertisements

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Looking back at this past group project, I can honestly say that I did not expect for it to work the way it did.  Our project was a two minute audio clip, but it still took quite a bit of work for it to go the way we wanted too.  There was a great deal of planning involved, as well as some extensive research.  In order to make it work, we had to find multiple sources, from the information needed on the product featured in the broadcast to old radio advertisements.  They were very much over the top compared to what we hear today, but they were effective.  It was fun putting it all together.

My thoughts on the Julian Assange TED interview

Friday, October 28th, 2011

I found the hackers readings this week interesting. The piece that I connected the most with was the TED discussion between Julian Assange and Chris Anderson. Before listening to the interview I had written Assange of as a hacker who was deliberately putting peoples’ lives in danger just because he had major issue with the people in power within United States government. However, my view of him changed very quickly while listening to the interview. For one, the interview discussed Assange using WikiLeaks to release information about Kenya. This to me shows that Assange is not merely picking a bone with the United States.  Instead, he is really an equal opportunist when it comes to releasing classified documents, when he sees corruption within a government. When the interview got to the clip of the American soldiers shooting at the Iranian civilians in Baghdad, Assange kind of lost me, with his smug attitude. However, actually listening to what he said I could see where he is coming from that the Iranians are people to, and they have to live with that sort of thing on a daily basis. The interview also left with me a lot of question to contemplate though as well, such as how does Assange and the rest of the people at WikiLeaks decide which information to leak? If we are to believe that they follow the idealized view of the hacker then they would release all the information. Yet, Assange admits that there is some information that they do believe should truly be private. I was also curious after watching the interview about the context of the clip with the soldiers.  The clip left me wondering why the soldiers were shooting at the Iranians. Was this something they were ordered to do, or was this entertainment for them, the way the clip would suggest?

Reddit and Hacking

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Well, this week was really interesting.  I lead class discussion for the first time, and we did some really interesting reading on the history of hacking culture and watched a TED talk called “Hire the Hackers!”  I picked this topic because I was the most interested in it, and I’m pretty happy that I did because this was the best reading that we have had so far.

Then on Thursday we used the subreddit that I set up for this class, and I really enjoyed that.  Also, some of the comments got a little heated and that was interesting to watch.  It was an interesting mix of Reddit culture (don’t be a jerk but you’re anonymous so you don’t have to be super polite) with the fact that we are in class together.

I also liked the idea of having the opportunity to comment on what you want to comment on.  If education is about learning what you want to learn about, then the subreddit that we set up is ideal because students don’t have to read about world cyber security if they would rather read something about hacking ethics.

Hacking History List

Monday, October 24th, 2011

1) William D. Mathews from MIT

2) The Warelords & The 414s

3) Legion of Doom

4) William Gibson’s Neuromancer

5) Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

6) The Morris Worm

7) CERT Coordination Center

8) The WANK Worm

9) Operation Sundevil

10) AOHell

Post-War Woman and the Spread of Information

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Print Add for Dr. McClurken's HIST 471 Class


Tupperware add depicting the social aspect of being involved in the sales of Tupperware products.  Tupperware was the first company to involve women in the sale of their products, enabling women to gather at “Tupperware parties” and acting as a catalyst to the spread of information in suburban America in the post-war era.



Baker, Joan. A Man is Not a Financial Plan: Investing for Wealth and Independence. Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2007.

Clarke, Alison. Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999.

Cockram, Andrew, Rachel Morris, Allison Corbet, and Michelle Treseler. “Tupperware,” Tupperware Home, (accessed October 17, 2011).

Peven, D.E., “The Use of Relgious Revival Techniques to Indoctrinate Personnel: The Home-Party Sales Organizations,” The Sociological Quarterly9, no. 1 (January 1968). (accessed October 17, 2011).

Tupperware Brands Corporation, “Five Decades of Change,” Tupperware. (accessed October 22, 2011).


Image Sources Used in Add and as Inspiration:

1950’s Fashion Ladies, April 2011. Available from The Fashion eZine Image URL: (accessed October 17, 2011).

Tupper Logo, July 1947. Available from Logos Database Image URL: (accessed October 17, 2011).

Tupperware Logo. Available from University of William and Mary’s American Studies 370 Tupperware Web Page Image URL: (accessed October 17, 2011).

Gain Flesh! Gain the Girl!

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Final product of the advertising project for Dr. McClurken's Information Age seminar.


Advertising Age. How It Was in Advertising, 1776-1976. Crain Books, 1976.
Brown, Bruce W. Images of Family Life in Magazine Advertising, 1920-1978. Praeger Publishers, 1981.
Heimann, Jim. 40s: All-American Ads. Köln: Taschen, 2001.
Parkin, Katherine J. Food is Love: Food Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.
Primary Sources for example advertising:
Life, 1936-1940. Accessed October 15, 2011.
Popular Mechanics, 1937-1938. Accessed October 15, 2011.

Popular Science, 1937-1938. Accessed October 15, 2011.

Week 8 Post

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

It is amazing to see in the Rosenzweig’s readings that the internet is mentioned very briefly before 1988 in the New York Times and rarely in any textbooks before WWII.  With a relatively short life so far, the internet has made a major impact in the lives of everyone and anyone.  While Winston probably would not believe the internet revolutionary, the internet has improved and streamlined the distribution of information between people.  It seems the internet has connected people in a way that makes interactions less personal.  In an age where one can find out information about another person from the safety of his/her own home, people can live their life without leaving their house.  Second Life proves the reality of this vision of people living in a virtual reality and interact online instead of in person.  I don’t know what the future of the internet will be, but it seems like the direction information is being distributed will be less and less impersonal.

Week 7 Post

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

For the group project, my group has decided to create a radio advertisement for the printing press as if it were 1950.  The idea behind this ad is very interesting and exciting to try, however there are some difficulties.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much information on the techniques radio advertisers used during the 1950s to promote various commercial goods and items.  So instead of trying to find secondary sources explaining how advertisers set up and presented their advertisements during the 1950s, my group had to research primary sources.  When listening to actual ads of the 1950s, I found two major differences between ads of the 1950s and the 21st century right away.  First off, advertisements of the 1950s were very formal and non conversational at all.  The advertiser did not try to relate to the audience at all, but would instead let “experts” in the products’ field pitch the item being sold.  Second off, the advertiser always seemed to be happy and upbeat, describing common themes of the 1950s like little Timmy playing in the yard and getting thirsty so mom needs to have Lipton tea ready to go.  While the 1950s advertisements produced some excellent jingles and music to remember specific products, the personable touch seems somewhat lacking compared to today’s advertisements.

As a Preamble to the Project

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011
Before diving into the advertisement proper, I would like to give a hearty thanks to my fellow project members who have made this small project possible. Caitlin, Ashley, and Nicole put time into taking my notes and sources and creating a wonderful product, which mimics 1930s advertisements for weight-gaining supplements. As a note for process, Ashley crafted the text for the advertisement and looked closely at various examples in order to develop a proper sense of wording for the piece. Nicole spent a great deal of time selecting appropriate fonts and modifying the layout. Caitlin, being a photoshop wizard, worked most closely with the program and made wonderful use of a set of early family photos for our advertisement. Although I worked primarily on the research end of the project, their work and effort made the project concrete and tangible.
In considering where this piece goes into the master timeline seen here, I wrote an earlier blog post about this style of advertisement. We (the group members) consider a product that is not a part of the information age but exemplifies certain characteristics about advertising during that time to be worthy addition to the timeline. The ad fits best within the 1930s segment and carrying a post of its own, perhaps with a title of “Early 20th Century Advertising.” In clicking that post, viewers can readily see our work, which makes an excellent example of advertising from then. Unlike other posts that are directly related to the flow of information, this small footnote would encourage readers to think of advertising not for its message but rather as a medium itself.
The next question one might have is “Is this really part of the information age?” The advertisement here is just a bunch of flashy exclamation points and pictures. Why should weight-gaining products make into the info age? The information age is not only about the passing of ideas from one entity to the next, it is also about how one passes such information. In terms of advertising, the question one needs to ask is what other messages are being encoded into the advertisement? I perceive ads such as weight-gaining to be more than just an advertisement encouraging one to bulk up and become extra hunky. Rather, one can note that the ads represent certain norms, namely heterosexual relationships, muscles and a particular body shape being keys to attracting women, and just plain old, every male requires a relationship to function. The ad does not just promise a product that will allow the consumer to gain weight, but it also transfers biases and life perspectives.What we can see in these ads is a company attempting to shape readers in a particular way.
So was there something special about weight-gaining products that made them apt for mimicking, as opposed to say car wax or cigarettes? Weight-gaining ads were not hiding secret messages to overturn the government, nor did they present the transfer of biases and perspectives better than other products. Rather, we chose our product as a fun and interesting item that flies in the face of contemporary perspectives about body size. To speak more personally, few would take such an interest in purposefully gaining weight, unless it involved muscle growth. Thus, the product will most certainly grab the viewer’s attention as an interesting advertisement. One might even note that things such as body size and image are all matters of cultural norms and that different generations can have vastly different outlooks on being sexy and attractive.

Monday morning (Oct 24, 2011), I will be posting up the advertisement and a bibliography for the Info Age project. Sit tight!

Works Cited

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Works Cited

Alka Seltzer-Classic Radio Commercial. 

Bodde, Derk. “China’s Gifts to the West.” Committee on Asiatic Studies in American Education, American Council on Education (November 8, 1942).  

Malboro-Classic Radio Commercial.

Nabisco-Classic Radio Commercials.   

O’Barr, William M. “A Brief History of Advertising in America.” Advertising and Society             Review (2005).

Pollak, Michael. “The Performance of the Wooden Printing Press.” Library Quarterly 42, no. 2     (April 1972): 218-265.

Wibley, Charles. “The Jubilee of the Printing Press.” North American Review 171, no. 529            (December 1990): 861-871.