Clay Pell’s YouTube ads are everywhere

I was sitting down last Tuesday with a bowl of popcorn, geared up to watch Beyonce and Jay Z’s grammy performance for the umpteenth time, when one of those annoying YouTube ads popped up. It was a five seconder. Not bad, I thought. Except then a sad-looking man filled the screen while acoustic guitar played in the background.

“Hi. I’m Clay Pell. I am announcing my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor of Rhode Island…”

I quickly clicked SKIP AD. But as I continued to surf YouTube, I found I couldn’t escape it.  Nobody in the state of Rhode Island can. It appeared before every music video and movie trailer I attempted to watch. I started to have nightmares about it.

“Hola. Soy Clay Pell. Hoy, anuncio mi candidatura para la nominación…” AHHH. IT’S EVEN IN SPANISH.

I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what bothered me about the ad, and then I realized: Pell had the same expression and voice typically reserved for anti-depressant and laxative ads. Between the James Blunt-esque music and Pell’s puppy dog eyes, he could just as easily have said: “Hi. I’m Clay Pell. I’m here today to talk about your inflamed colon. I want to let you know — I’m here to help.”

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Did you really read Morning Mail? Cat video edition

Now that finals are approaching, you’ve probably spent a lot more time on the internet. If you’re at all like us, you have probably spent a significant portion of this time watching videos of cats. Cats flushing toilets, “speaking” out of story booksactually speaking, running on treadmills, or even playing ping pong –we’ve seen it all.

But why are we so taken with watching our furry friends do human-like things in three-minute videos? Brown’s Mellon Sawyer Seminar, entitled “Animal Magnetism: The Emotional Ecology of Animals and Humans,” will use some animal videos to take a closer look at why we are drawn to these clips and why humans anthropomorphize their pets. The commentators will include faculty from Archaeology, Anthropology, Classics, CLPS, History, Egyptology, and several other departments who will provide various viewpoints about human relationships with pets and human-animal interactions. Continue Reading