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There’s currently an interesting exhibition on “Dieu et la pub” (god and advertisement) in the foyer of Lausanne’s town hall.

It shows both how god and religion is used in ads, but it also shows ads for (Christian) churches. I have to say “Chapeau!” to the people in the ads department of the Episcopal Church. They had a number of very clever posters trying to sell “their” religion as hip and sexy.

In fact, it is an interesting thought on its own, whether there should be more (or any?) commercials for religions on television and so on. I could very well imagine some “sinning flat rates”:

“Pray just once per month, and be as bad as you can be.”

“Choose our all inclusive religion package: Direct email contact to more than 300 officially recognized deities! Complete with our ‘All-you-can-pray’ offer!”

“Does your current religion provider require too much faith from you? Are your current god’s response times too slow? Then change your religion provider now!”

“Get blessed now, pray later.”

“Two saved souls for the price of one. [This offer is only valid until the arrival of the next prophet.]”

Hmm…, this gives me an idea. How much does it cost to broadcast a TV ad? Maybe I should start with a few radio ads. Given what other ads I have to listen to, it should not be too difficult to get past their quality control. Too bad that I just missed April Fool’s Day!

Let me know, if you have other good ideas for slogans. One could at least run a paper campaign on campus. One would just have to design an entertaining but not offensive website and put the URL on the posters.

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I was planning to participate in the Austrian double ironman triathlon in Neulengbach this summer. Unfortunately, this race won’t take place this year.  😦

There’s a triple ironman triathlon in Lensahn, Germany, but this would be too much for me without having done a double ironman first.

There’s also a double ironman triathlon in Birmingham, UK, but this race has been fully booked for more than two months.

Finally, there’s also a race over the double distance in Lévis, Canada, but I don’t want to fly to Canada just for this race. [It would also make it impossible for me to find any “support crew” of helping friends.]

So, I guess, I’ll just do another ironman or two this summer and I will have to postpone my more ambitious plans until next year.  😦

[If you don’t know the distances: a double ironman requires the participants to swim 7.6km, then cycle 360km and finally run 84km. The winners do this in about 20-21 hours. The time limit is usually between 32 and 36 hours and “normal” participants sleep for 2-4 hours. My personal goal would have been to finish “slowly but surely” after 35h 59m, including 4 hours of sleep.]

Optical illusions work because our brain “expects” certain patterns (e.g., that things further away get smaller etc.).

I wonder if through constant exposure to non-standard visual impressions you can teach a newborn child not to “expect” such patterns and hence become “blind” to optical illusions as it would simply see things the way they are (whether it may be parallel lines or of the same level of darkness).
Suppose you have posters of optical illusions on the walls, suppose you try to have as many things as possible upside-down, suppose you live in a room/house with lots of strange optical properties e.g., no angles at 90° and lines on the floor/walls which only make sense/fit together when viewed from one particular position), would this change your way of “seeing”?

Maybe for a specific type of illusion this could work. At least I have the impression that as a child I learned to toggle faster and faster between the alternative realities in pictures such as this one or this one, even when I had not seen the particular picture before.

Later edit: I just came across this hilarious “optical illusion”  😉

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