Saturday, September 29, 2007

Needing Better Copywriting

Graphics -- Not enough Buddhist exotica to intrigue us, but this is fair enough for an online fundraiser, I guess.

Content -- From mysterious Bhutan (with Honk Kong and New York depositaries) comes this web version of a Buddhist alms bowl for a project to build a giant Buddha statue with 125,000 Buddha statuettes inside. This would-be eighth wonder of the world will be part of heritage preservation for the Bhutanese version of Buddhism.

Blurb: Bhutan is the eight happiest nation on the World Map of Happiness and the happiest among the less developed. A study ranks happiness status on health, wealth and education parameters. Life expectancy in this high-terrain territory is reportedly 52.4 years, but Buddha said it's not how long your body lives but how much good you do on earth. And 126,000 more statues of him would spread more good vibes all around. Sold out already?

Recommend -- We'd guess most people online don't know much about Buddhism, so your sales pitch should explain how the 126,000 goldplated figures would rank us higher on the World Map of Happiness. Hint: these days sites on Myanmar and its monks are getting the highest hits, so get with the persecution sob stories!

Rating -- 7.0

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brain Twister

Graphics -- Under renovation with the header still in surgery? The new layout could turn out better than the old one.

Content -- Profiles/comments on the entertainment scene, some reprints, etcetera rants on student life. Too early to tell what else could happen since there's only four pages.

The English seems literally translated from Tagalog and comes off awkward.

Recommend -- Get an editor. Some good mags, newspapers and bestseller books added to your reading list will give you a handle on idiom. Pidgin will put you at the bottom of the ladder when you go jobhunting.

Rating -- 4.0


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Home Ideas: Adding Color and Pattern to Natural Stone

Beautiful natural stone (marble, granite, sandstone, soapstone, etc.) is porous, so with it comes the drudgery of sealing jobs from time to time to ward off stains.

Want to add color and pattern to a plain stone surface? Tinted cement as sealer lasts for years. You can mix the same color as the stone or take your pick of other shades.

For our bathroom makeover we sealed creamy coral stone tile, called Mactan stone hereabouts, with a peachy mix. How it's done:

1. Unpolished stone is best (costs less, too) for the results we have in mind. Hose down the stone surface or soak the sample tiles to remove dirt from their pores, and rinse off.

2. Mixing colored cement is like mixing paint, so you might need to take a sample of the shade you want to a paint store and get help coming up with it.

3. Test-mix colors, adding two or three tablespoons of portland cement for every kilo of colored cement for more hardness. Apply on the stone surface and dry with a hairdryer on warm setting for about two minutes.

4. Sand with no. 80 sandpaper to remove top layer of cement. Switch to no. 100 for a semifinal finish.

Voila! A gorgeous pattern highlighting the stone's natural texture (shown above over granite tile. Looks brownish here, though). Coralstone carries traces of fossilized sea plants and creatures, which add interest. It's also skid resistant even when wet, which makes it ideal for floors.

Freshly applied colored cement can dry on its own for twenty four hours before sanding -- slow drying is best. The same cement mix should be used as tile grout for a seamless look. A final sanding after grout gives polish and as much smoothness as natural stone can muster.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Fishing in a Dry Wash

Graphics -- The set-up has one of the better color combos of any blogs around. The nifty rustic 'woodwork' sidebar shows the pains taken for a feature that's a constant. The archive platoon spoils the view, though.

Content -- Lists the blogger's shrink could look into, essays on nature, religion, name-calling, parenting, all-in-a-day tidbits --inlaid with irony, which makes this not a boring blog.

Random stabs at fiction (showing potential, and he has the writer's neuroses to prove it) and cozy family pics round off the menu.

Recommend -- this blog as a demo on the right mix of spontaniety and craft. But then again, you either have it or you don't, Prozac or no Prozac.

Some longish paragraphs could be broken up with graphics.

Ratin -- 9.0


Monday, September 3, 2007


Graphics -- This blog shapeshifted from kiddie to teeny and the layout's really grownup for someone the blogger's age. Makes the posts look like deep thinking at a business meeting or something. The sidebar even looks unintrusive. A cut above the old layout, anyway. The header is wide-eyed cute.

Content -- Got some laughs out of the doggie horoscope. Axel's in a self-examination mode with birthpaths and what's in a name arithmetic. But her real feel is for color 'styling', something useful in graphic designing or commercial art.

Recommend -- More original content, and would love to see you experiment more with poster or card-type posting where you position (might read: scatter) text inside a graphic design that vibes with the words.

Rating -- 7.8

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