Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thanks After Midnight

I'd like to thank AM for linking up Ariel's footage and Wheels of the Future on their site. You can check out Ariel and the rest of the AM squad below in AM's newest clip. Enjoy!!

On a different note, I'm reading a great book right now about conscious and unconscious decision making. So definitely expect a new write-up about how skateboarding relates to the unconscious workings of the brain!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Column

I'd like to give a special thanks to Steve Costello and Kevin Susienka for giving me a column on the RAW site. You can check out my first post here.

Also check out this classic Pete Gardini part. Move back to boston homie!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thanks 48 Blocks!

There are a few skateboard websites in my bookmark bar that I check daily. 48 Blocks is one of these sites. While other sites only cover the industry heavy hitters, 48 Blocks keeps it real and covers many of the finer underground metropolitan skateboarders as well as established pros. They do this in the form of in-depth interviews and video spotlights. I want to thank 48 blocks for linking up Ariel's Wheels of the Future part on their site. A couple of years ago, 48 blocks made a great video featuring the likes of Lavar McBride and Nate Keegan called Pandemic. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm Going to be the One

Last spring and into the summer Ariel and I filmed a ton of "brocam" footage. If you've ever hung around Ariel you'll probably become familiar with many of his famous sayings. One of these sayings is, "I'm going to be the one." One man video parts are becoming all the rage and I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon. It only seemed appropriate that Ariel's one man part would be called, "I'm Going to be the One." What would an Ariel Part be without Max B? Enjoy!

Music: Max B-We Got Doe

Friday, December 31, 2010

A Skateboard Video Study on the Contrast Principle

Do you ride a skateboard? Do you often feel the need to ride it compulsively? Do you often daydream about skateboarding? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions and are a full-blown skate rat, you may be eligible for participation in a skateboard video research study. Qualified applicants will be compensated in the form of the viewing of dope skate videos. Participants are needed immediately.

Instructions: Watch A and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10; with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst. Write this number down. Immediately watch B and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Write this number down. Wait 3 hours. Watch C and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. Write this number down. Immediately watch D and rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 and write this number down. In the comments section, write down all 4 letters and your corresponding ratings to them. You can also leave your name if you want.

Thank You for your participation. Results will be published in a blog post in the near future. The goal of this study is to test out the contrast principle. For more information on the contrast principle look at the previous post.





Pscycophysics, Copley Square, and What to Do if You Get Bad Grades

Pretend you are a men's suit salesman. You have a customer who comes in and wants to buy a suit and a sweater. You want to sell him both a $500 suit and a $95 sweater. Which item would you show the customer first, in hopes that he would buy both? My guess is that you probably picked the sweater. You probably thought that if a person were to spend $500 on a suit first there would be no way the person would want to spend any more money on anything else. It turns out that it is much more profitable to sell the suit first and then the sweater. After someone has spent a huge chunk of money on an expensive item, the less expensive item relatively inexpensive compared to the more expensive item.

According to psychophysics is "the scientific study of the relationship between stimuli (specified in physical terms) and the sensations and perceptions evoked by these stimuli. The term psychophysics is used to denote both the substantive study of stimulus-response relationships and the methodologies used for this study."

There is a concept in psychophysics called the contrast principle. The contrast principle states that if we are presented two things one after another and these two things are somewhat different from each other we will perceive them as much more different than they actually are. For instance, suppose I ask you to pick up a light object and, right after, I ask you to pick up a heavier object. The heavier object will seem much heavier after picking up the lighter object than if I had just asked you to pick up the heavier object without first picking up the lighter one. The contrast principle not only applies to weight; it also has great psychological implications.

Consider this experiment from the Universities of Montana and Arizona. College students were shown a picture of a potential blind date. One group of the students were shown an episode of Charlie's Angels while viewing the pictures and another group of students weren't. The group of students watching the episode of Charlie's Angels gave a much lower rating of the potential blind date picture than the students who didn't. This is probably because of the highly unrealistic beauty of the Charlie's Angels cast.

The contrast principle holds tremendous power. It is extremely easy to exploit the principle as shown in the men's suit example. When any retail business uses the principle, it is extremely hard for customers to detect it. For all you skate shop owners do yourself a favor and sell those $100 dunks and then the $30 premium collaboration tee-shirt. In fact, it is not only more profitable to sell the more expensive item first; it would be detrimental to sell the less expensive item first (That is, if your goal is to make money). Suppose you sold someone that $30 tee-shirt and then tried to sell him the $100 dunks. The tee-shirt probably seemed pretty expensive on its own, but then being presented with a pair of much more expensive dunks just makes the dunks seem even more costly and the customer would be less likely to buy them. Order of sales matters.

At this time of year, everyone loves going to skate the Copley fountain in Boston. It's a fun little ledge and manny pad that's about 8 inches high. Let's pretend you just learned nose manny nollie flips and you're hyped. Tourists love to go to the fountain and watch the skateboarders. In fact, they are probably judging your ability levels. Suppose you're the only one there and Daewon Song ( rolls up. Unsurprisingly, people will probably think you suck and Daewon is the norm on a skateboard. This is the contrast principle in action.

Finally, if you ever get bad grades in school, send this letter (an extreme example of the contrast principle taken directly out of Influence The Pschology of Persausion by Robert B. Cialdini):

"Dear Mother and Dad,

It has been nearly three months since I left for college. I have been remiss in writing, and I am very sorry for my thoughtlessness in not having written before. I will bring you up to date now; but, before you read on, please sit down. You are not to read any further unless you are sitting down. Okay.

Well, then, I am getting along pretty well now. The skull fracture and the concussion I got when I jumped out of the window of my dormitory when it caught fire shortly after my arrival are pretty well healed now. I only spent two weeks in the hospital, and now I can see almost normally and only get those sick headaches once a day.

Fortunately, the fire in the dormitory and my jump were witnessed by an attendant at the gas station near the dorm, and he was the one who called the Fire Department and the ambulance. He also visited me at the hospital; and, since I had nowhere to live because of the burnt out dormitory, he was kind enough to invite me to share his apartment with him. It's really a basement room, but it's kind of cute. He is a very fine boy, and we have fallen deeply in love and are planning to get married. We haven't set the exact date yet, but it will be before my pregnancy begins to show.

Yes, Mother and Dad, I am pregnant. I know how much you are looking forward to being grandparents, and I know you will welcome the baby and give it the same love and devotion you gave me when I was a child. The reason for the delay in our marriage is that my boyfriend has some minor infection which prevents us from passing our premarital blood tests, and I carelessly caught it from him. This will soon clear up with the penicillin injections I am now taking daily.

I know you will welcome him into our family with open arms. He is kind; and, although not well educated, he is ambitious. Although he is of a different race and religion than ours, I know your oft-expressed tolerance will not permit you to be bothered by the fact that his skin color is somewhat darker than ours. I am sure you will love him as I do. His family background is good too, for I am told that his father is an important gun bearer in the village in Africa from which he comes.

Now that I have brought you up to date, I want to tell you that there was no dormitory fire, I did not get a concussion or a skull fracture, I was not in the hospital, I am not pregnant, I am not engaged, I do not have syphilis, and there is no one in my life. However, I am getting a "D" in History and an "F" in Science, and I wanted you to see these marks in the proper perspective.

Your loving daughter,


Sharon may be failing chemistry, but she gets an "A" in psychology"

Source: Influence The Pschology of Persuasion by Richard B. Cialdini

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thanks Steve and Kevin you guys are Rad!

When I was little I would frequently go into Concepts, a skate shop in Harvard Square, and bother Steve Costello who worked at the shop. Steve, along with Kevin Susienka, started Ready Amongst Willing (RAW), a skateboard and apparel company, in the spring of 2006. On one of my visits to Concepts, I remember Steve showing me the sample cards for the first batch of RAW products. This was months before the official launch of the brand and I was so psyched I probably went into Concepts multiple times a week to find out as much information about RAW as possible. The moment I knew RAW would be here to stay was at the City People 2 (a Boston skate video by Zander Taketomo) premiere in Davis Square in August of 2006. I'd say 80% of the people at the premiere had something RAW-related on.

I think one of the reasons people back RAW so hard is that Steve and Kevin have made an effort to get to know their supporters personally as well as it's humanly possible. Before RAW opened up its Brick and Mortar store in Somerville, MA, Kevin worked full time in Worcester. It just so happened I attended the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) at this time. Every week Kevin would drive up to WPI and we'd have a flatground session. This is just one of many examples of how Steve and Kevin have gone out of their way to get to know me and many of Boston's other skateboarders.

Steve and Kevin are not only the owners of RAW; they are also my friends and I'd like to thank them for linking me up on
Rad Collector:

Wheels Of The Future By Will Burstein

In case you haven't seen it Steve has a great part in the Coliseum 99' video amongst PJ Ladd and Ryan Gallant: