Sunday, 31 May 2009


Source: Aihibed Magaña

  1. one who never laughs; a mirthless person

History of Credit Card

Diners Club Card, 1951
As the story goes, 60 years ago, Frank McNamara, the founder of what's considered the first credit card, was eating out at a restaurant, and when the check arrived, he realized that he had not brought along his wallet. The embarrassing situation led him to eventually create the Diners Club card, which allowed members to pay restaurant bills monthly. The card itself was wallet-sized and made of paper and wasn't any fancier than a library card. But the idea behind it-a third party facilitating a "buy-now, pay-later" process-was revolutionary.

BankAmericard, 1958
The first bank credit card, the BankAmericard, was unveiled when Bank of America gave out 60,000 unsolicited cards in Fresno, Calif., in 1958. Unlike in the past, when getting a loan might have meant taking a trip to the bank’s basement, this card was a ticket for anyone to spend freely and decide when was best to pay it back.

American Express Card, 1959
Plenty of large and small players saw the opportunity in the card business and jumped in quickly. American Express (AXP) differentiated itself from other providers by offering the first-ever plastic credit card in 1959. As opposed to flimsier cards, the plastic alternative was designed to “better withstand day-to-day use.”

American Express Executive Card, 1968
Through aggressive marketing and the mass mailings of unsolicited credit cards, companies were able to sign up millions of customers in a short amount of time. American Express carved a niche in the saturated market when it released the gold-colored version of its executive credit card in 1968. It was one of the first in a line of color-coded luxury cards geared toward the affluent market—a low-risk, and often heavy-spending, group. The card was simultaneously a status symbol for those high-rollers who wanted everyone to know it.

Master Charge Card, 1970
Here’s one corporate logo that hasn’t changed much over time. Though “Master Charge: The Interbank Card” changed its name to MasterCard (MA) in 1979, the iconic intersecting circles stuck around.

Chase Visa Card, 1984
By 1984, 71 percent of all Americans between the ages of 17 and 65 carried a credit card. In fact, the country was downright swipe-happy. By 1986, the average outstanding balance of cardholders with revolving accounts was $1,472, up from $649 in 1970.

Discover Card, 1986
The first Discover Card debuted in a Super Bowl ad in 1986. Its message: “Very few things cost you nothing to get and pay you back every day. But the new Discover Card does.” The card had no annual fee and cash-back bonuses, which became standard offerings on many cards. It also featured the image of a rising sun, one of the earliest attempts to incorporate art onto the face of a card.

Visa/NFL Co-branded Credit Card, 1989
Eventually, it became apparent to providers that the credit card could be a marketing canvas in itself. Instead of their logos occupying the entire face, in the late ’80s, Visa (V) and MasterCard began experimenting with more aesthetically appealing cards. The provider logo was reduced to a tiny stamp on the corner of the card. Organizations, like the NFL, were happy to co-sponsor the cards.

Rolling Stones Co-Branded MasterCard, 1995
Marketers banked on the idea that customers would want cards that offered them some sort of emotional connection. It turns out, they did. In the mid-’90s, Rolling Stones fans could use this card to get discounts at selected music shops and earn frequent-buyer points to buy items from the band’s merchandise line.

University of Delaware MasterCard, 1997
By the late 1990s, over 70 percent of college students had credit cards. Many a parent was not pleased. Students, who often have little or no income, tend to rack up debt (and interest charges)—which is precisely why the credit card companies market heavily on campus. Various companies began to face criticism for placing the school logos on the card, as well as for offering slices of pizza to students who applied for accounts.

Austin Powers TM Titanium Visa, 2000
The Austin Powers TM Titanium Visa from First USA was a big hit when first released. The sales pitch: “It's Titanium, Baby!” According to a news article at the time, its rate was 10.9 percent, compared to 9.9 percent for the plain, old Titanium Visa. But, as an enticing selling point, cardholders got a wide-screen video edition of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery after the first use.

Discover Card, 2009
Pets are among the most popular designs that customers select for their credit cards these days. At Discover (DFS), the orange tabby cat card is a top seller, according to its PR department. While card designs like this one may be appealing, it’s a troubling trend, says Robert Manning, author of Credit Card Nation. “People are picking out a card because they can have a picture of a cat on it rather than looking at the terms,” he says.

Source: The Big Money

Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun commits suicide

"Roh, who was president from 2003 to 2008, had gone hiking near his home with an aide about 6:30 a.m. Saturday (5:30 p.m. ET on Friday), the state-run Yonhap news agency said.
He was found later with head injuries, and died at 9:30 a.m. after being taken to a hospital in Busan, police said. A hospital spokesman declined to comment.
Roh left a suicide note for his family that family lawyer Moon Jae-in handed out to South Korean media. News reports said Roh wrote it on his computer about half an hour before he left the house.
"I am in debt to too many people," the note reads. "Too many people have suffered because of me. And I cannot imagine the suffering they will go through in the future."
Roh's death came amid an investigation into a bribery scandal that had tarnished his reputation.
Prosecutors were investigating the former president for allegedly receiving $6 million in bribes from a South Korean businessman while in office. Roh's wife was scheduled to be questioned by prosecutors Saturday, and Roh was planning to answer a second round of questions next week.
With Roh's death, prosecutors said, the case against him has been suspended." ~CNN
While the American government and businessmen cheat and lie and deny everything later, President Roh chose death over dishonour. He chose to die for something he didn't know was wrong at first. His wife and his son-in-law were the ones who took the money, not him. Who knows, maybe he did know about bribe money. But the truth is, he committed suicide because he was burden with guilt.
"The corruption allegations against Roh were by no means the worst leveled against a South Korean president.
In 1997, two ex-presidents were convicted of pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes while in office. Chun Doo-hwan, president from 1981-88, was fined $270 million; Roh Tae-woo, leader from 1998-93, was fined $350 million.
But the accusations were deeply shameful to Roh, who built a reputation as anti-corruption crusader." ~Yahoo News
Since South Korea is filled with North Korean spies and with people who have a "hint of red" (a secret communist), citizens tend to question the government with suspicion and often hate. Unlike other former presidents who had a hint of red or who were trying to take money from the people, President Roh wanted what was best for South Korea and I admired that.
"Though criticized as inexperienced and confrontational by some, Roh was praised by others as a humble, candid leader who pushed for political reform and fought against corruption. " ~Yahoo News
No matter how much people criticised President Roh, he was certainly better than the other former presidents. I liked him for trying to do what was right. People can debate that by saying he escaped his responsibilities by committing suicide, but in the end no one is perfect. The government in South Korea is corrupt anyway. Were the former presidents prosecuted for the money they stole? No, at at all. One top of that, the money was never returned.

I hope people will appreciate the current President instead of emphasising on his negative aspects. Korean people shouldn't point their finger at President Lee for framing President Roh if they truly did respect and mourn for his loss.

P.S. - I just pray that this time people won't be ignorant by putting 100% of their trust into the media to get information about the government. You'll get what I mean if you read about the whole cow disease uproar and protest against the American meat last summer. When I was in Korea, the whole media was just... ridiculous. I was stunned when I turned on the TV. Come on, I ate a crappy meat burgers for lunch everyday when I was in American school!!!! I probably had more chance of eating meat with cow disease. Even the Korean celebrities who are supposedly "international" opposed against American meats. Living in different countries opened my eyes and showed me how imperfect this world is... and how ignorant people can be. That's why even though my nationality is Korean and I was brought up in Japan and America all my life, I never consider none of them my home country. Patriotism is what causes people to be ignorant and hateful. My home is wherever I live at the moment, and I am quite satisfied with that.

Source: CNN, Yahoo News, PoliBlog

Saturday, 30 May 2009

What Not to Knit

The look on the child’s face when he has to wear the atrocity – priceless.

Hairy Mohair Catsuit
Oh my Lord! Just because you can sell your handknits on Ebay doesn’t mean you should! And the cost for this precious number – $399 US for Buy It Now! Ebay needs new standards on what to allow and what not to allow – this is beyond hideous.

Turkey Anything

Just when exactly would you
want a baby to look like corn?

You know it’s bad when even the dog looks upset.

Long Knit Dress + Brown Belt+ Beige Boots = Awesome

Do you like to sweat?
...Then you must make these!

“Seen in the New York City Public Library window ”

Source/More Posts at: What Not to Knit

What Not to Crochet

Yarn as a Contraceptive Strategy

Rodents. Somehow, they’re just not decorative.

You just keep hoping things get better.

For Those special evenings

How to Punish a cheating man...

Worse than wearing white boots

Source/More Posts at: What Not to Crochet

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Ginou Choueiri

Potato Portraits
"I chose the potato to portray the human face due to it's many striking parallels. Not only is their skin porous like ours but they also come in different colors, shapes and sizes. Potato heads grow, sprout, age, then decay... but they refuse to go without a trace." ~Ginou Choueiri

Hmmmm I think I'll eat Ryan and Jen for today's dinner =)
"Everything can be transformed into art. There is enough unused and abandoned material out there screaming for attention, as well as conventional everyday objects that would love to be pulled out their mundane environment for a more exciting existence." ~Ginou Choueiri
Source: Ginou Choueiri

Creepy Vintage Ads

Source/More Pictures at: Weirdomatic