Monday, April 13, 2009

News Talk Online April 13, 2009: Margery Krevsky and Mike Wendland

Growing up in Detroit, and in an automotive family (nearly everyone I knew was associated one way or another with the auto industry) I had an early love affair with the automobile.

The Detroit Auto Show (later renamed the North American International Auto Show) as well as the new cars on display at the annual employees Christmas Party at the old Ford Rotunda in Dearborn taught me how to love, or at least lust after, the unattainable. As I stared as a youngster at the shiny new cars. It was the beginning of a love affair with the automobile that lasts to this day.

Then came puberty, and with it, an enhanced of the auto show. Because now, not only were my friends and I interested in the models on display - we were suddenly interested in the models on display as well. That is to say, we once myopically concentrated only on the cars on display. Now the beautiful women on the giant turntables that spun under the lights of Cobo Hall grabbed our attention as well.

These were, and remain, the Sirens of Chrome, the title of a book written by one of those models now turned modeling agency owner Margery Krevsky.

Sirens of Chrome is a visual joy ride through auto show history. Not simply on sheet metal, but on the distinctly human presence.

At the risk of being accused of objectifying the female body, it can be said that the models were, and are, human hood ornaments. Descendents, the author suggests, of the sirens of early Greek lore. Hoping not to dash ships upon rocks, but to entice the purchase of land ships.

The book would not be complete without dozens of photographs of hot vehicles and models, some of whom actually inspired designs in future cars.

Today the modeling is more sedate, with more men joining the ranks and with some models being replaced by the very people who build the cars, there to actually answer the serious car buyer's questions. But if you were to visit the New York Auto Show today, you'd be certain to find pretty human models there in sufficient abundance to catch your eye. Some of them, no doubt, placed there by today's

Krevsky co-founded Productions Plus in 1981, and the agency rapidly became one of the major players in selecting, outfitting and training talent for auto shows across America. Instead of bending to the prevailing demand for women in ball gowns and short shorts, Krevsky took bold steps with outfitting talent in sophisticated business attire for Pontiac, then Nissan and Toyota. Other automakers soon sought out her skills.

Productions Plus is an international company, with offices in Detroit, Chicago and Los Angeles.

How much of your e-mail is stuff you really want or need to read?

As Don Adams might say, would you believe 3 percent?

For those of us who are mathematically challenged, that means a full 97 out of 100 e-mails we receive is junk.

People who live and die by their Crackberries, then, are spending 97 percent of the time they are punching away at their little keyboards perusing e-mail that they don't want. So a device that's designed to ease our lives is actually becoming labor intensive. And probably adding stress to our very busy days.

To the rescue, however, is our second guest today on News Talk Online on, a guy we affectionately refer to as PC Mike. Journalist Mike Wendland. Who writes about all things PC and Internet related.

Wendland will answer your questions about how to counter this spam assault on your e-mail accounts. And anything else you want to know about making your cool Internet related tools work for you - not against you.

Wendland is a veteran broadcast and print technology reporter and columnist and has been doing special PCMike tech segments for NBC-TV affiliates since 1994.

As such, he was one of the first reporters to report on the World Wide Web and its huge potential as a medium of its own. Since then, his hundreds of reports have been seen by millions on more than 215 NBC-TV stations across the country and on MSNBC and CNBC.

Mike has also been the technology columnist for the Detroit Free Press and his columns and stories have appeared in hundreds of newspapers across the U.S., including the New York Times and USA Today.

He also maintains a blog that's an absolutely essential read for anyone on the Internet.

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