Following Complaint From Comcast, Ad Board Recommends DirecTV Discontinue Rob Lowe Ads


Comcast's complaint to NAD took exception to several DirecTV commercials featuring Rob Lowe and his alter-ego including "scrawny arms Rob Lowe." Comcast’s complaint to NAD took exception to several DirecTV commercials featuring Rob Lowe and his alter-ego including “scrawny arms Rob Lowe.”

If you’ve been near a TV in the last six months (and don’t fast forward through every commercial break), then you’ve likely seen the quirky DirecTV ads featuring Rob Lowe and a parade of kooky alter-egos. How much longer you’ll see those spots is up for debate after an ad review board, acting on a complaint from Comcast, found many of DirecTV’s claims to be unsubstantiated and recommended the company pull the promotions. 

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Write like a virtual Hemingway

This is wonderful.


Ernest Hemingway worked at the Kansas City Star for only six months, but the newspaper’s style guide forever shaped his writing:

Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.”

Still, A Moveable Feast didn’t impress me when I read it in high school. The writing seemed simple, almost childlike. “This is literature?” I wondered. But the economy of Hemingway’s writing struck me when I reread it a few months ago. “This is literature,” I decided.

I’ve spent most of my life wrestling with words — and I’ve lost most of the matches. There are so many ways a writer can go wrong. By getting it wrong, though, I’ve come to appreciate the ways Hemingway got it right.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t argue with Hemingway’s directness. He says what he means, and he doesn’t waste your time. There’s something appealing…

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23 April: Correct-your-English Language Day

Bridging the Unbridgeable

This blog features a Language Calendar, and it includes 23 April – English Language Day (UN). Why was 23 April chosen for this, and why have an English Language Day to begin with? As a World Language, English is important enough as it is. So this year, we thought we’d like to promote the CORRECT use of English for a change by having a Correct-your-English Language Day instead.

Just for this one day, we encourage you to avoid making grammar or spelling mistakes, and to just use words in their precise, etymological meanings (as writers of usage guides tell us to do). Just for a day, avoid splitting your infinitives, put only only in its proper place, avoid Americanisms (or Britishisms, as the case may be), say I shall instead of I will, use whom for a change, spell focussing(focusing?) correctly, and for goodness sake, just…

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The Big Idea: David Walton



Quantum physics gets a workout in Superposition, the new novel from Philip K. Dick Award winner David Walton. He’s here to catch you up on how abstruse, higher-order physics works for action and adventure.


I love stories that tie my mind in knots.

Stories like the film Inception, that juggle multiple layers of reality, each of them affecting the others in complex but logical ways. The kind of stories that take big chances and then deliver. I wanted to write a novel like that, but how? What idea could I have that would be big enough to drive such a story?

Two things happened to answer that question for me. One, I was reading non-fiction books about quantum physics. Two, I had jury duty and was picked for a trial. The trial was a doozie: a grown brother and sister were illegally spying on their…

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LinkedIn Jumping Into The Education Business (Kind Of) With $1.5B Purchase Of

I love anything named Linda!! Or in this case Lynda…


Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.22.51 AMHuman resources and professional networking site LinkedIn appears to be broadening its horizons by way of a little education. The company announced today that it struck a deal to buy online career-skills education company for about $1.5 billion.

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You Can Give Your Saliva And $99 To Find Out Details About Your Ancestors’ Lives

I can’t help but be fascinated by this.

Consumerist Spit, something our bodies readily produce for free, can be very valuable. It can mean the difference between prison and freedom, and between being related to Wild Bill Hickok versus Buffalo Bill. In an effort to cater to dedicated genealogists, is introducing a new service that promises to provide detailed information about consumers ancestors as well as connections to other living relatives, for the price of some saliva and $99.

Ancestor Discoveries will provide about 30% of consumers with information about relatives from the past and present, including details about the ancestors’ daily lives, as well as alert them to other people alive who’re related to them, reports USA Today.

“It’s the biggest leap forward for us yet, leveraging nearly a million DNA profiles we already have in our system,” says CEO Tim Sullivan.

He says the company sees two markets for the service — those…

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