[Roundup] April Foolin’ Around
It has been another thought-provoking month here at 9 Clouds.
To celebrate all the knowledge we have gained over these past few weeks, this post will be dedicated to discussing one of my favorite subjects: the history of philosophical thought as it applies to ancient Greek literature.
April fool! It’s just another roundup from a creative who doesn’t have the attention span for such a subject (it’s all Greek to me).
If there’s any month that should leave you scratching your head, it’s April.
The first of April is a day when we purposely inconvenience others for the sole purpose of laughing at their gullibility (see above).
Easter, an important religious holiday for many, is a time in April when we inform our children that a giant rabbit brings them a basket full of colorful eggs and candy in the middle of the night. For a mammal who is so obsessed with eggs, you’d think that the Easter Bunny could make you a pretty good omelet, yet I keep finding hares in mine (contain your laughter, folks).
No matter how weird April looks on paper, it was an incredibly productive month for our digital marketing crew. So sit down, buckle up, and get ready for another edition of our monthly roundup — because it’s April, fools.
1. A Bone-Shaking Discovery
To our understanding, early humans arrived to what is now known as North America no earlier than 15,000 years ago.
Well, we thought they did. According to this NBC story, paleontologists in San Diego dug up the 130,000-year-old skeletal remains of a mastodon (which is essentially a mammoth’s lesser-known cousin) that appeared to have been taken apart by stone tools.
The story is incredibly significant, considering that we may have been more than 100,000 years off on the estimate for early human arrival to the Americas.
Ultimately, this discovery could completely rewrite our current understanding of early humans and when they migrated to North America.
2. In the Eye of the Beholder
Nighthawks by Edward Hopper
Art isn’t always about what you see, but rather what you make other people see.
Aside from creativity, vision, and perspective, one of the best skills that art can teach a person is interpretation.
The art of interpretation is something we must constantly keep in mind as digital auto marketers. Like an artist, when I create content for my client about a car — something that would seem basic to the everyday person — I have to ask myself, What is the underlying message here?
In this Thirty-Two Minutes article, the author interprets one of the most iconic paintings ever made, Nighthawks by Edward Hopper. When you look at the painting at a glance, it just appears to be an image of patrons in an old cafe in a city somewhere, with the clerk or owner of the establishment behind the counter.
When you stare longer at the painting, you start to ask yourself questions: Why does the man in the center have his back turned to us? Why does everyone appear so stoic and tense? Why does there appear to be no door leading to the outside or any way for the clerk to get out from behind the counter?
When you boil it down, there’s a deeper meaning than just a little cafe in a city somewhere. The commodities that we might consider basic at first actually have the potential to strike a deeper interpretation.
3. 20 Questions: Auto Edition
This incredibly entertaining read by Car And Driver provides you with 20 tough questions to ask about the auto industry in 2017.
I won’t dive into all 20, but essentially they offer a good idea of what we as digital automotive marketers can expect our work to look like down the road.
One of the most substantial questions the article asks is whether or not anything can stop the current sales boom that the auto industry is seeing. The dangerous fact that popped out at me was that delinquencies of subprime auto loans have continued to grow, now accounting for 20% of auto debt.
This may be a worrisome issue to think about, as it mirrors the behavior of the subprime mortgage loans that led to the 2008 housing collapse, which resulted in an economic recession. Although many argue that the auto loan market won’t have the impact on the economy that housing did, it is nevertheless concerning for us as an industry.
4. Drafting for the Future — Well, Sort Of
Image credit: swimfinfan on Flickr
The NFL Draft is an event that sofa-cruisers love. (I know this because I’m one of them.)
Every year, when my team is on the clock and submits its pick, I find myself screaming phrases like “Are you kidding me?!” at the TV. It’s as if I genuinely believe that I can do the job of high-paid NFL executives.
According to this article by Barry Petchesky, though, I might not be wrong.
It takes a special eye to pull the trigger on a top pick. However, the math behind the study states that for each team that moves up to get a higher draft pick, the value its players generate often falls short of expectations.
5. Creativity > Six-Pack Abs
Good news, fellow creatives: you and your sexy creative thought-power may be the ultimate advantage in your dating life.
According to Christopher Watkins, a lecturer in psychology at Abertay University in Scotland, demonstrating creativity in front of a date can actually enhance how attractive they perceive you to be.
The study paired some images of men and women with a creative piece of writing and some without. It then asked observers to rate them on their overall attractiveness. The ones who were paired with the creative piece of writing were ranked higher on average than those who weren’t.
6. Trouble Abroad
North Korea has had a troubled history (to put it mildly).
Since 1945, when Kim Il-Sung took control of the country as its outright authoritarian dictator, North Korea has been a nation riddled with human rights violations.
Throughout its brief history, North Korea’s government has prioritized the development of nuclear capabilities and coercively pushed the belief onto its people that its dictatorial leader is on the same level as a deity. Under threat of violence, the citizens of North Korea live a horribly contained life, hindered by a lack of personal freedom.
Kim Jong-Un, the current dictator of North Korea, has recently threatened nuclear missile tests against all of its enemies — including the United States. All eyes are on China, a nation with its own controversies, to see what it will do in order to tame a troubled country that considers China an ally.
7. Swipe Left for Extinction
Image credit: Fyre Mael
Look out, lion: there’s a new bad boy on the prowl.
His name? Sudan, the white rhino. He’s the only male left in his species, but that just means he’s the most eligible white rhino bachelor around.
The problem? He’s having a little trouble reproducing. Although he’s been giving it his best, any mating that Sudan has engaged in has never resulted in pregnancy.
In order to raise funds to save the white rhino from extinction, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya has teamed up with Tinder as a means to reach in vitro fertilization treatments. The costs for these treatments is roughly in the neighborhood of $9 to $10 million.
8. Womb for More Discovery
According to Reuters, scientists in the United States have developed an artificial womb that could significantly increase the chance of survival for premature babies. The experimentation was done on fetal lambs, who saw improvements in the development of vital organ systems.
The womb mimics the environment of an actual uterus and provides the child with the critical placenta needed for organ development. Considering there are an estimated 30,000 babies who are born critically early, this discovery could potentially provide medical care with a literal life-changing opportunity.
Although it could take another decade before artificial wombs become effective enough to become a common practice in most medical facilities, the discovery could shake the world of medical care.
9. Elon “Musk” Be Doing Something Right
At 9 Clouds, we’re fascinated by future of the auto industry.
Our own Matt Stoffel wrote this article to discuss the brand that is reshaping the entire industry as we know it: Tesla.
The brand has an estimated value of $51.5 billion dollars and has now passed GM and Ford as America’s most valuable car brand. High production, luxury, and a reputation for having the most cutting-edge car model have been the calling card for Tesla since its founding.
The industry has indeed been favorable for Tesla and its founder Elon Musk, yet its model is centered on low production rates with high costs of production. The Model S also has a price rage of $64,000 to $134,000.
Ultimately, we will see whether or not this success is more reflective of the stock market or Tesla’s actual sales potential as a car manufacturer.
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