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The Quick 10: 10 Fake Brands Used by the Entertainment Industry

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Technically, it's more like, "10 Fake Brands and Numbers and License Plates Used by the Entertainment Industry" but that's pretty wordy for a title. Basically, it's brands that you've seen pop up in show after show, movie after movie. Maybe you haven't even noticed that they're used across the board - they can be pretty sneaky about placement. Sometimes it's because they truly need a generic brand, and in some cases it's just because it's become an inside joke to work in to movies, much like the Wilhelm Scream. Either way, I think it's fun.

red apple1. Red Apple Cigarettes from Quentin Tarantino. There are plenty of directors and writers who create brands and use them across all of their movies and shows, but this one and Big Kahuna Burger, another Tarantino, are some of the most famous (read on for another one that I think ranks up there). Some people mistakenly think "Fruit Brute" and "Kaboom!" cereal are from the depths of Tarantino's imagination, but those were actual cereals. Once upon a time, "Fruit Brute" was part of the Frankberry-Count Chocula-Booberry family.

"¢ First seen in Pulp Fiction, Red Apple can also be spotted in the Tokyo airport when Uma Thurman walks by an giant advertisement for the brand.
"¢ A pack is tossed in the Gecko Brothers' car in From Dusk Til Dawn.
"¢ Ted the Bellhop from Four Rooms smokes them.
"¢ In the Planet Terror part of Grindhouse, the BBQ owner tosses a pack to Wray.

2. Morley Cigarettes. Unlike Tarantino's Red Apple cigs which appear exclusively in his own movies, Morley Cigarettes are prop smokes used across the board. Here are a few places you'll find them:

Beverly Hills, 90210 (the original). Remember when Brenda comes home from Paris with a newfound smoking habit? The cigarettes her parents catch her with are Morleys.
"¢ Spike on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was loyal to the Morley brand.
"¢ On Heroes, Claire Bennet's real mom tries to light a Morley in Sandra Bennet's house, "˜til Sandra puts the kibosh on it.
"¢ The American soldiers in Platoon smoke Morleys.
"¢ Christina Ricci's character in Prozac Nation is a Morley smoker.
"¢ The infamous Smoking Man from The X-Files smokes -you guessed it "“ Morleys.

3. Heisler Beer is the barley-and-hops version of Morleys. Some notable appearances:

"¢ In lots of My Name is Earl episodes.
"¢ When Silas from Weeds celebrates his 18th birthday, the beverage of choice is Heisler.
Beerfest by the Broken Lizard guys features both cans and bottles of the fictitious beer.
"¢ One of my current favorites, United States of Tara, features Heisler in an episode where Marshall and Kate throw a party while their parents are out of town.

4. Oceanic Airlines. I'm a big Lost fan and had never heard of this made-up brand until then, but it's been around since long before Jack and co. crashed on the Island.

It's usually specifically used to depict ill-fated airlines, so the next time you spot the name at the beginning of a movie, you'll know something that the person sitting next to you doesn't. Use it to make yourself sound like a film genius: "It's so obvious that the plane is going to be hijacked. Could they make their foreshadowing any more obvious?"

"¢ Part of the 1996 movie Executive Decision takes place on Oceanic Airlines Flight 343.
"¢ In "The Bridget at Kang So Ri," an episode of JAG that aired in 2000, Korean terrorists hijack an Oceanic Air flight.
"¢ Oceanic is referenced in other ABC and/or J.J. Abrams projects "“ the name has made appearances in Chuck, Fringe and Pushing Daisies.
"¢ Supposedly the Oceanic name goes all the way back to the "˜60s with a mention in an episode of Flipper called "The Ditching," but I can't seem to verify this one.

gannon5. Gannon Car Rentals. Speaking of Lost, Gannon Car ads were featured in back-to-back episodes of Heroes and Lost, which led to a lot of speculation among fans that the two shows were somehow connected. This would be pretty much unprecedented, since the shows are on two different networks. Reps for both shows have denied that they the shows tie together but did say that they often chat with one another and are inspired by one another.

"¢ Gannon pamphlets can be found in at least four episodes of Heroes.
Lost fans will spot Gannon advertisements on the back of the Oceanic Airlines boarding pass folders "“ there are also pamphlets, too, and a Gannon advertisement at a soccer game in an episode with Desmond.

SPYDER6. Finder-Spyder is the official choice when writers need a generic search engine. Sometimes the logo looks suspiciously like Google's, and sometimes it looks nothing like it. Here's where you'll spot it:

"¢ In at least six episodes of Prison Break, including the pilot.
"¢ On Dexter.
"¢ Two Without a Trace episodes "“ "Baggage," where they look up a website that was left in a journal, and "Cloudy with a Chance of Gettysburg," where they look up info about Civil War re-enactments.
"¢ On Criminal Minds, when Megan Kane Finder-Spyders (doesn't have the same ring as "Googles," does it?) Special Agent Aaron Hotchner in the episode "Pleasure is my Business."

7. Mooby's, a franchise that features a tongue-in-cheek golden cow mascot, is all over Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse. Fans already know this, no doubt, but for the casual viewer, here's a reference guide:

"¢ In Dogma, you'll see the chain all over the place: Bartleby and Loki visit the Mooby headquarters, they eat at Mooby restaurant, Silent Bob wears a Mooby hat throughout the movie, and Rufus can be seen wearing Mooby pajamas.
"¢ In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, SB is still wearing his Mooby hat. A Mooby character gets shot during the backlot chase scene.
Clerks II features the clerks relocating to a Mooby location after their Quick Stop burns down.

ghostbusters8. 555-2368. Phone companies have reserved the "555" prefix from 0100-0199 for fictional purposes such as movies and T.V. shows. This happened because it started to become problematic when writers would make up "fake" numbers for their fictional purposes, only to have fans dial the number and disrupt a real person who hadn't intended for their number to be put out there for national use. This still presents a bit of a problem"¦ one of the most widely-used fake 555 numbers is 555-2368, which clearly falls out of the 0100-0199 territory. Here are a few references to the 555-2368 number:

"¢ The Ghostbusters number in the "Who You Gonna Call" commercial.
"¢ The number of the Guiler residence in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
"¢ Jim Rockford's number in The Rockford Files.
"¢ The motel room phone in Momento.
"¢ Baretta's phone number in Baretta.
"¢ Jaime Sommers' phone number in The Bionic Woman.

9. Acme is obviously associated with Looney Toons, but other shows and movies have picked up on the gag as well. The name originated because when the Yellow Pages were first introduced, tons of businesses started naming themselves "Acme" or "Ace" to get at the top of the listings. The Looney Toons' Acme and other Acme references poke fun at this (and some are referencing the Looney Toons Acme directly).

Calvin and Hobbes often referenced Acme on the box when Calvin was making transmogrifiers and other imaginative machines.
The Far Side used the company name in various comics, too.
"¢ Bullwinkle once pretended to sell Acme vacuums on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.
The Simpsons makes reference on a somewhat regular basis, including during Itchy and Scratchy episodes.
"¢ The candy factory Lucy and Ethel work at in that famous episode is the Acme Candy Factory.
"¢ The detective agency in the Carmen Sandiego series is the ACME Detective Agency.
The Last Action Hero references Acme products.
"¢ Wally's Filling Station in The Andy Griffith Show sells Acme fuel.

10. 2GAT123. Next time you're watching something, keep a close eye on the license plates to see if you spot these numbers. It almost always appears on a California license plate and is used because California doesn't actually use the letter combination "GAT" on real plates. Another one you might spot is "2FAN321." 2GAT123 has been spotted in these movies and shows:

"¢ Beverly Hills Cop II
"¢ L.A. Story
"¢ Go
"¢ Pay It Forward
"¢ Traffic
"¢ Mulholland Drive
"¢ Beverly Hills, 90210
"¢ Charmed
"¢ Chuck
"¢ Curb Your Enthusiasm
"¢ Lost
"¢ Two and Half Men
"¢ The X-Files

This all leads me to today's questions. Where have you spotted these movie generics? And, if you were creating your own universe like the Tarantino-verse or the View Askewniverse, what would your brand be? Mine would definitely have to be Patton-brand something: my dog is named Patton and he's a total psycho with one brown eye and one blue eye. Perhaps brown and blue would be the color scheme of my ads. Anyway, leave a comment and let us know what yours would be! Also, here is a gratuitous picture of Patton:

patton

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8 of the Weirdest Gallup Polls
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Born in Jefferson, Iowa on November 18, 1901, George Gallup studied journalism and psychology, focusing on how to measure readers’ interest in newspaper and magazine content. In 1935, he founded the American Institute of Public Opinion to scientifically measure public opinions on topics such as government spending, criminal justice, and presidential candidates. Although he died in 1984, The Gallup Poll continues his legacy of trying to determine and report the will of the people in an unbiased, independent way. To celebrate his day of birth, we compiled a list of some of the weirdest, funniest Gallup polls over the years.

1. THREE IN FOUR AMERICANS BELIEVE IN THE PARANORMAL (2005)

According to this Gallup poll, 75 percent of Americans have at least one paranormal belief. Specifically, 41 percent believe in extrasensory perception (ESP), 37 percent believe in haunted houses, and 21 percent believe in witches. What about channeling spirits, you might ask? Only 9 percent of Americans believe that it’s possible to channel a spirit so that it takes temporary control of one's body. Interestingly, believing in paranormal phenomena was relatively similar across people of different genders, races, ages, and education levels.

2. ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS THINK THE SUN REVOLVES AROUND THE EARTH (1999)

In this poll, Gallup tried to determine the popularity of heliocentric versus geocentric views. While 79 percent of Americans correctly stated that the Earth revolves around the sun, 18 percent think the sun revolves around the Earth. Three percent chose to remain indifferent, saying they had no opinion either way.

3. 22 PERCENT OF AMERICANS ARE HESITANT TO SUPPORT A MORMON (2011)

Gallup first measured anti-Mormon sentiment back in 1967, and it was still an issue in 2011, a year before Mormon Mitt Romney ran for president. Approximately 22 percent of Americans said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, even if that candidate belonged to their preferred political party. Strangely, Americans’ bias against Mormons has remained stable since the 1960s, despite decreasing bias against African Americans, Catholics, Jews, and women.

4. MISSISSIPPIANS GO TO CHURCH THE MOST; VERMONTERS THE LEAST (2010)

This 2010 poll amusingly confirms the stereotype that southerners are more religious than the rest of the country. Although 42 percent of all Americans attend church regularly (which Gallup defines as weekly or almost weekly), there are large variations based on geography. For example, 63 percent of people in Mississippi attend church regularly, followed by 58 percent in Alabama and 56 percent in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Utah. Rounding out the lowest levels of church attendance, on the other hand, were Vermont, where 23 percent of residents attend church regularly, New Hampshire, at 26 percent, and Maine at 27 percent.

5. ONE IN FOUR AMERICANS DON’T KNOW WHICH COUNTRY AMERICA GAINED INDEPENDENCE FROM (1999)

Although 76 percent of Americans knew that the United States gained independence from Great Britain as a result of the Revolutionary War, 24 percent weren’t so sure. Two percent thought the correct answer was France, 3 percent said a different country (such as Mexico, China, or Russia), and 19 percent had no opinion. Certain groups of people who consider themselves patriotic, including men, older people, and white people (according to Gallup polls), were more likely to know that America gained its independence from Great Britain.

6. ONE THIRD OF AMERICANS BELIEVE IN GHOSTS (2000)

This Halloween-themed Gallup poll asked Americans about their habits and behavior on the last day of October. Predictably, two-thirds of Americans reported that someone in their house planned to give candy to trick-or-treaters and more than three-quarters of parents with kids reported that their kids would wear a costume. More surprisingly, 31 percent of American adults claimed to believe in ghosts, an increase from 1978, when only 11 percent of American adults admitted to a belief in ghosts.

7. 5 PERCENT OF WORKING MILLENNIALS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE ELEMENTS OF WELL-BEING (2016)

This recent Gallup poll is funny in a sad way, as it sheds light on the tragicomic life of a millennial. In this poll, well-being is defined as having purpose, social support, manageable finances, a strong community, and good physical health. Sadly, only 5 percent of working millennials—defined as people born between 1980 and 1996—were thriving in these five indicators of well-being. To counter this lack of well-being, Gallup’s report recommends that managers promote work-life balance and improve their communication with millennial employees.

8. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SLIGHTLY MORE NEGATIVE (2014)

If you seem to feel more stress, sadness, anxiety, and pain than ever before, Gallup has the proof that it’s not all in your head. According to the company’s worldwide negative experience index, negative feelings such as stress, sadness, and anger have increased since 2007. Unsurprisingly, people living in war-torn, dangerous parts of the word—Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Sierra Leone—reported the highest levels of negative emotions.

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11 Times Mickey Mouse Was Banned
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Despite being one of the world’s most recognizable and beloved characters, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mickey Mouse, who turns 89 years old today. A number of countries—and even U.S. states—have banned the cartoon rodent at one time or another for reasons both big and small.

1. In 1930, Ohio banned a cartoon called “The Shindig” because Clarabelle Cow was shown reading Three Weeks by Elinor Glyn, the premier romance novelist of the time. Check it out (1:05) and let us know if you’re scandalized:

2. With movies on 10-foot screen being a relatively new thing in Romania in 1935, the government decided to ban Mickey Mouse, concerned that children would be terrified of a monstrous rodent.

3. In 1929, a German censor banned a Mickey Mouse short called “The Barnyard Battle.” The reason? An army of cats wearing pickelhauben, the pointed helmets worn by German military in the 19th and 20th centuries: "The wearing of German military helmets by an army of cats which oppose a militia of mice is offensive to national dignity. Permission to exhibit this production in Germany is refused.”

4. The German dislike for Mickey Mouse continued into the mid-'30s, with one German newspaper wondering why such a small and dirty animal would be idolized by children across the world: "Mickey Mouse is the most miserable ideal ever revealed ... Healthy emotions tell every independent young man and every honorable youth that the dirty and filth-covered vermin, the greatest bacteria carrier in the animal kingdom, cannot be the ideal type of animal.” Mickey was originally banned from Nazi Germany, but eventually the mouse's popularity won out.

5. In 2014, Iran's Organization for Supporting Manufacturers and Consumers announced a ban on school supplies and stationery products featuring “demoralizing images,” including that of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Sleeping Beauty, and characters from Toy Story.

6. In 1954, East Germany banned Mickey Mouse comics, claiming that Mickey was an “anti-Red rebel.”

7. In 1937, a Mickey Mouse adventure was so similar to real events in Yugoslavia that the comic strip was banned. State police say the comic strip depicted a “Puritan-like revolt” that was a danger to the “Boy King,” Peter II of Yugoslavia, who was just 14 at the time. A journalist who wrote about the ban was consequently escorted out of the country.

8. Though Mussolini banned many cartoons and American influences from Italy in 1938, Mickey Mouse flew under the radar. It’s been said that Mussolini’s children were such Mickey Mouse fans that they were able to convince him to keep the rodent around.

9. Mickey and his friends were banned from the 1988 Seoul Olympics in a roundabout way. As they do with many major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Disney had contacted American favorites to win in each event to ask them to say the famous “I’m going to Disneyland!” line if they won. When American swimmer Matt Biondi won the 100-meter freestyle, he dutifully complied with the request. After a complaint from the East Germans, the tape was pulled and given to the International Olympic Committee.

10. In 1993, Mickey was banned from a place he shouldn't have been in the first place: Seattle liquor stores. As a wonderful opening sentence from the Associated Press explained, "Mickey Mouse, the Easter Bunny and teddy bears have no business selling booze, the Washington State Liquor Control Board has decided." A handful of stores had painted Mickey and other characters as part of a promotion. A Disney VP said Mickey was "a nondrinker."

11. Let's end with another strike against The Shindig (see #1) and Clarabelle’s bulging udder. Less than a year after the Shindig ban, the Motion Picture Producers and Directors of America announced that they had received a massive number of complaints about the engorged cow udders in various Mickey Mouse cartoons.

From then on, according to a 1931 article in Time magazine, “Cows in Mickey Mouse ... pictures in the future will have small or invisible udders quite unlike the gargantuan organ whose antics of late have shocked some and convulsed others. In a recent picture the udder, besides flying violently to left and right or stretching far out behind when the cow was in motion, heaved with its panting with the cow stood still.”

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