Archive for April 24th, 2007

Charlie Todd: Improv Everywhere

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007


improv everywhere home depot prank

What happens when a few hundred willing volunteers gather to play a big urban prank, such as walking into a Home Depot store to walk in slow motion for 5 minutes, freeze, and then walk like normal again without breaking a smile? Besides absoute confusion and a landscape like mania, I think of one person; Charlie Todd, the prankster and founder of “Improv Everywhere“.

Charlie made a brief appearence during this past years GEL Conference and showed us his hysterical HomeDepot Prank. Check out the video above, then hit up his HomeDept Mission page with several more detailed videos, pictures, and comments.

Check out the rest of their awesome missions here.


“Book” means “Cool”

Tuesday, April 24th, 2007

txt msgBesides this weeks news of 13 year old Morgan Pozgar winning $25k for being the world text messenging champion, another fun, social, behavioral, and somewhat pop cultural fact I learned this past week was the effects of the T9 predictive typing system found on most phones:

“That’s so Book! In an interesting technical flavor to linguistics, T9 predictive text on mobile phones is now starting to have an effect on language. For example, ‘book’ now means ‘cool’ because when either is entered (2665) into a T9 predictive phone, ‘book’ is offered before ‘cool,’ and is now used in place of the latter.”

I don’t use T9 often since it never outputs my designerly modified crappy lingo but this might also be old news as my phone currently does output “cool” before “book”, as does the GUI on the T9 site.

So, can technology change our language or even definitions….sure! Many cultures shorten or replace words much like our Australian friends down under(lingo list). Even mashups are becoming more common. I learned a bunch of pretty sweet custom terms during word queen Erin MckeansWord Lovers’ Boot Camp during GEL last week. The two words that stuck in my head were:

1.”CrappyJack”: any kind of empty, snacky junk food.
2. “Drunch”: to consume alcoholic beverages with like-minded individuals between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday. ;)

I also learned the the term “Ecosexual: A person who’s into hybrid cars, low energy lightbulbs, and recycling.” via Treehugger