I’m feeling grouchy today. I was getting tired of 1930’s boleros, so I dropped into my 1914 photo files for a bit of a change. Wrong choice!
Obviously, 1914, with its high-waisted fashions, was not the year to get away from boleros!
So, what follows isn’t about fashion history — but what’s the point of a blog if I can’t just blather occasionally? 🙂
I Am Tired of Seeing Icy Landscape Photos
Every time I turn on my laptop, Bing gives me a different photograph screensaver, and asks if I like it or not. I realize that Bing is probably using my responses to improve their AI algorithms, but I’m also conducting a little experiment with them: How long will it take their AI to catch on? It would definitely be simpler if Bing just asked me what kind of photos I prefer. Multiple choice, perhaps…. (Villages, yes. Hummingbirds, yes. Deserts, yes. Ancient artifacts? yes. Landscapes that make me want to get up and put on a sweater? No.) Yes, I could buy or create my own screensavers, but where would the challenge be?
My experiment is to always reject icy-cold landscapes with jagged rocks and distant mountain climbers, and to always like images of animals and flowers. I deliberately liked a toucan, and a field of tulips in bloom — that ought to be a pretty broad hint that I prefer intense colors. But no, they keep sending me isolated hikers in glacial terrain. Brrrrr. And not enough birds and animals for me to really express my preference. So my experiment goes slowly. (I do realize I’m in a minority when it comes to landscapes — but Bing invites me to express a preference….)
Blue Landscapes Make Me Blue
A fascinating — and depressing — survey, if you know an artist who is trying to sell paintings, is the work of artists Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, who made a statistical study of the best loved (vs. least wanted) paintings, nation by nation. The winners, hands down, were “blue landscapes.” You know, a landscape with blue skies and blue water…. Maybe with some mountains, a few clouds…. Personally, I always prefer a hike through wooded, rolling hills that ends at the village teashop or pub or bistro. Wildflowers are appreciated. If I spot a fox that isn’t roadkill, or lambs wagging their tails and frolicking, or hear a cuckoo, it makes my day. But far-off people standing on a precarious cliff, overlooking a raging river far below — not so enjoyable for an acrophobe who had to approach the rim of the Grand Canyon on her butt…. inching forward.
Hitting the Target:
The general incompetence of online advertising does intrigue me. A few years ago my husband leased an electric car — over my objections to its limited range. But he got a great deal — about $118 per month. The week after he signed the lease, the very dealership he signed it with began sending him almost daily emails offering the same car for $98 a month. That is no way to create a satisfied customer.
I bought a very satisfactory charger for household batteries from Office Depot — online. For many weeks thereafter, I got emails offering to sell me exactly the charger I had bought. Of course, I didn’t need one; I had already bought one! The thing is, I really needed more rechargeable batteries — AA , AAA, etc. Somehow the idea of selling me related items — accessories, if you will — never occurred to them. (I hunted the batteries down at Home Depot, instead.)
I do love a pair of teal blue eyeglass frames I got online — but, really how often am I likely to buy frames for prescription glasses? Once every two years. So, cool it, Cool Frames!
And why did Microsoft Solitaire spend weeks sending me Spanish language ads for anemic looking American beers? I never bought any beer online — in any language!
The artist of this cover seems to be C (or E?) Deane.