Fans of The Simpsons might have heard that a dozen 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. have temporarily morphed into Kwik-E-Mart stores to promote the upcoming Simpsons movie. Imagine my surprise when one of the lucky dozen stores turned out to be in sleepy Mountain View, California (just down the block from the shop run by my employer, Mr. O'Legog).
So my wife and son and I headed up to Kwik-E-Mart to take a look. They did a great job, although it wasn't obsessively detailed. All hints of the store's actual corporate identity were covered by Kwik-E-Mart signs, including the giant sign outside. The store was filled with little signs taped on with big ugly duct tape, and most signs had mistakes and cross-outs, mimicking the store on TV. Actual Krusty-Os, Buzz Cola, and neon pink donuts were for sale. Larger-then-life plastic stand-ups of various characters adorned the store. Most of the folks shopping seemed unaware of what had happened to the shop, but every now and then somebody showed up with a camera and a giant grin. This was the first day of Kwik-E-Mart-ness: I'm sure there will be many more Simpsons fans visiting in the coming days.
Sure, it's iPhone day, but that's not the only thing going on for Steve Jobs today. It's also the premiere of Ratatouille, the new Pixar movie. So far, it looks like the movie is getting somewhat better reviews than the gadget, but I'm betting that both will do just fine.
The venerable (OK, decrepit) Vallco Fashion Park mall in Cupertino is being completely remodeled. One of the first stages of redevelopment is the sparkling new Cupertino Square 16 theaters. When you go to buy your overpriced popcorn at Cupertino Square, take a close look at the menu boards behind the concession counter: they're live graphics on big Sony monitors. Every so often, the menu bits animate: the picture of a hot dog becomes a little hot dog movie, as we swoop in on the hot dog and it gets relish on it; the popcorn bucket fills up and a piece of popcorn falls off the top; the sparkly soda pours into the cup. Local geeks stood and stared so long that we almost missed our movie.
There's suddenly lots of interest in Kazakhstan because of -- well, guess why. And now the Kazakhs are starting to think that maybe that's a good thing. Sacha Baron Cohen has even been nominated for a cultural award in Kazakhstan. Read about it here.