Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mission Impossible 2 (II) Soundtrack Music by Hans Zimmer

Today I've been in the mood for classical guitar music. The Mission Impossible II Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer has a very clear, fresh melody. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ugliest Logos on the web: Chat forums

No hard feelings--I just think this logo does nothing for me. The colors don't work and the font is very difficult to read. Furthermore, the design has no relation to SEO or a forum. The one below comes from Great forum--poor design. Sorry guys.

I'm also not a fan of Digital Point's logo ( It's just something with these forums--their webmasters simply refuse to put time into half-decent design.

Though, something can still be said of these forums. They have lots of traffic. However, I still think few thousand dollars in design could do something for them--boost reputation, let professionals take them more seriously.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mathematics a Must-Have for Internet Marketers

Many marketers have reverted from studying traditional market research to studying a perceived mathematical formula in order to attract customers. Understanding PageRank[1], the algorithm Google patented in 2001[2], is the golden ticket in internet marketing.  In this article, we’ll discuss how the algorithm works and how it has changed marketing.

Google and Marketing?

Google holds 80 percent of the US search market share and 90 percent globally.[3] Millions of searches are made per day at, the most visited website on the internet. Google founders and Stanford dropouts, Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, probably didn’t realize that their algorithm change the face of marketing. Marketers who can get their company’s websites listed on the first page of Google can often double, triple, or quadruple sales.

How Does it Work?

Although more than 200 factors contribute to Google’s algorithm, it was originally designed with two distinguishing components: (1) page ranking and (2) anchor text.[4]

Page Ranking
Google ranks a web page based on how many inbound links (also called backlinks) from other websites are linking to that page. Each link may be considered one vote, according to Google. Google then innovated further by placing a specific weight on each vote. Sites with more links receive higher rank. In turn, links from these higher ranking sites receive more weight.

To illustrate page ranking, analyze the number of links from two large websites, and has 3,380 backlinks and has 46,600 backlinks. A link from would be worth more than a link from

Anchor Text
Anchor text are the words actually being linked. If a link were placed in this article to (Microsoft’s search engine), it might look like the following: Visit another search engine. In this case, is the link while “search engine” is the anchor text. Google assigns relevancy of the websites in its search results based on the anchor text of those websites’ backlinks. Should the above example be an actual link, a search for “search engine” should be more likely to return in the results.

What Does this Mean to Marketers?

Marketers who understand page ranking and anchor text can build traffic to their companies’  websites by employing numerous methods of link building and using keyword-targeted anchor text.

Continual Research

However, the buck doesn’t stop with proper link building and anchor text. Because spam is always trying to get into Google’s search results,[5] Google engineers must constantly update the algorithm.[6] Thus, internet marketing always requires continuous research and testing.

[1] Wikipedia, “PageRank,”

[2] Lawrence Page, “Method for node ranking in a linked database,” Google Patent,

[3] Reuters, “CORRECTING and REPLACING: Bing US Market Share Stabilises but Yahoo! Continues Fall – StatCounter,”

[4] Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page, “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine,” Stanford University,

[5] Zolt Gyöngyi and Hector Garcia-Molina, "Spam: It's Not Just for Inboxes Anymore," Computer, vol. 38, no. 10, pp. 28-34, Oct. 2005, doi:10.1109/MC.2005.352

[6] Matt Cutts, “Explaining algorithm updates and data refreshes,”

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cookie Monster and Domino Sugar

How would you create an ad for Domino Sugar? Natural sugar manufacturers like Domino have been facing a lot of competition from the substitute sugars such as "Sweet 'n Low" and "Splenda." Our goal was to position Domino Sugar as a all-natural quality sugar that was fit for a housewife who wanted to be fit and provide healthy cooking for her family.

Our first major idea was about using the right sugar for you. We wanted to show a traditional plate of cookies with a note "For Santa", with a Christmas tree in the background. The copy would have been, "Because this year, you're Santa." We wanted to tell the consumer that ultimately, it is she who will eat the products of her baking and thus, she should use quality ingredients.

After a multitude of ideas, Sesame Street's famous Cookie Monster came to our minds. The Cookie Monster will eat any cookie right? Wrong. Cookie Monster will gladly go for a piece of pizza rather than some cookies made with substitute sugars.

Substitute sugars are the real monsters. Even the most famous cookie lovers only go for cookies made from all-natural, real sugar.
Visit for Cookie Monster’s favorite cookie recipe

What do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Contact Forms 7 - Making value text disappear when clicked (onfocus)

 UPDATE (Jan. 8, 2010) - I managed to use the added script below in a new website (I work for Take a look at (the form is in the right sidebar).

I'm really not a PHP developer in any fashion. However, I've managed to make some adjustments to the Contact Forms 7 plugin for Wordpress.

Contact Forms 7

My hat goes off to Takayuki Miyoshi, the creator of Contact Forms 7. The plugin is very intuitive and fairly user-friendly in comparison with other form plugins. However, I found that I couldn't make input value attributes appear and disappear when a form input was clicked on. Below are some of the adjustments I made:
  1. In the plugin folder under admin/admin.php I added a new option to the administration of the text input generator (line 466). Script additions are in blue:

    'acceptableFileTypes' => __( "Acceptable file types", 'wpcf7' ),

    'needReallySimpleCaptcha' => __( "Note: To use CAPTCHA, you need Really Simple CAPTCHA plugin installed.", 'wpcf7' ),

    'onFocusOnBlur' => __( "Make input values disappear when clicked?", 'wpcf7' )

    ) );

  2. Then, modify the admin javascript file under admin/wpcf7-admin.js
    (line 417)
    jQuery.each([ 'isRequiredField', 'allowsMultipleSelections', 'insertFirstBlankOption', 'makeCheckboxesExclusive',

    'isAcceptanceDefaultOn', 'isAcceptanceInvert',

    'akismetAuthor', 'akismetAuthorEmail', 'akismetAuthorUrl',

    'imageSizeSmall', 'imageSizeMedium', 'imageSizeLarge', 'onFocusOnBlur' ], function(i, n) {

    tgInputs[n] = jQuery('');

    (line 469)

    jQuery(' ' + _wpcf7L10n.isRequiredField + '').prepend(tgInputs.isRequiredField),

    jQuery(' ' + _wpcf7L10n.onFocusOnBlur + '').prepend(tgInputs.onFocusOnBlur)


    (line 1159)
    if (tgInputs.tagClasses.val())

    jQuery.each(tgInputs.tagClasses.val().split(' '), function(i, n) {

    options.push('class:' + n);


    if (':checked'))


  3. Then edit the text module file under modules/text.php:
    First determine if the new option is selected:

    } elseif ( preg_match( '%^([0-9]*)[/x]([0-9]*)$%', $option, $matches ) ) {
    $size_att = (int) $matches[1];
    $maxlength_att = (int) $matches[2];
    } elseif ( preg_match( '%^onfocus$%', $option, $matches ) ) {
    $onfocus_att = 1;
  4. Add the javascript to the input if the selection was made (still on modules/text.php):

    if ($onfocus_att == 1) {
    $atts .= "onfocus=\"if(this.value=='" . esc_attr( $value ) . "'){value='';document.getElementById('" . trim( $id_att ) . "').style.color='#000000'}\" onblur=\"if(this.value==''){value='" . esc_attr( $value ) . "';document.getElementById('" . trim( $id_att ) . "').style.color='#999999'}\"";
    $html = ...
  5. Your Done!

Here's an image of the new checkbox:

Let me know if you have any questions. I'm going to put up a demo soon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dave's Formatter

While I was working with LawFirmSites, a coworker and friend created an HTML code formatter. It's been a few years and I still use it frequently.

Sometimes I forget how to find it. Here's the link:

Dave's Formatter

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Synchronized Christmas Lights - Carol of the Bells

Mr. Holdman puts up an impressive light show every year. I recorded this version a few years ago. I was really impressed with the extravagant lighting. All the lights are synchronized perfectly with Carol of the Bells which was played over a short-wave radio signal. It's become a family tradition to see what Mr. Holdman will do next.

Synchronized Christmas Lights

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Day at the Museum - Naturhistorisches Museum

Not knowing what the museum had, I stepped inside. "Naturhistorisches Museum," I read the sign to myself. Apparently, the statue on the dome of this museum was a bit taller--a meter or so taller than the Kunsthistorisches Museum's statue across the plaza. Logical symbolism. God's creations are higher and nobler than Man's creations.

I found the Museum strangely designed. The top floor contained numerous exhibits of animals from each family. First insects, then amphibians, and reptiles, and mammals.

One monkey seemed especially vicious. His teeth were glaring and the glass eyes shone with ferocious brightness. I was perplexed with the monkey's face and pressed my face up to the glass to get a closer look. I did not realize, however, that a faint mist was streaming from his mouth. His chest was moving in and out like real lungs. That's weird.

Suddenly, his right arm seemed to fly into motion and he smashed his extra large fist against the exhibit glass. Crack! Right on my face. A stream of blood ran down the glass. I stepped back in shock and confusion. Did that monkey just move? I felt my forehead. Blood. The glass was smashed and the monkey wasn't finished. He began to hit the glass repeatedly and finally the exhibit box shattered to the floor. The entire case of monkeys was a mess, and now they were all alive, screaming and jumping. One hopped onto my shoulders and wrapped his long hairy arms around my eyes and mouth. I stumbled backwards, trying to pry the monkey off my head. Then suddenly I was free just as I tripped into the crocodile display. Oops...

Richard Strauss: Arabella in Vienna - Franz Josef's Reaction

The orchestra played loud and sure. The conductor waved his arms back and forth like a flag in the wind. His long hair waved as well, drenched in perspiration--after all, he had been conducting for over an hour. The notes were strangely twisted and dynamic--typical of Strauss. It was amidst this flowing blanket of sound that the main character, "Arabella," sung with rich tone. It was near the end of the last act.

The audience was glued to the performance excluding the Emperor Franz Josef who was seated in box 3. He usually showed an uninterested look and his slouched body gave away his dislike of opera. Nevertheless, the majority of the wealthy class, seated in the boxes, were anxiously hoping for a delightful ending. Would Arabella's new lover disgrace her after learning of her supposed unfaithfulness? Would the obsessive Mateo use the revolver to end his life?

Strauss wrote the opera with a joyful and romantic ending where the lovers would find happiness and the third act would end on a pleasant major chord, rather than a minor one so typical of operas. Misfortune, however, found its place in the performance of this evening's premiere. It was a romantically climactic moment. Fortunately, things had been made right with Mateo, and now that his secondary role was concluded, the bloat was no longer needed on stage. Now was time for the role of Arabella to truly shine.

Count Mandryck had so coincidentally mentioned earlier in the opera that in his country it was customary for a village girl to offer a cup of water to her lover, acknowledging that she agreed to be his wife. The beautiful Arabella asked for a glass of water to be taken to her room. Then she said goodbye and walked upstairs for bed.

At this point the music softened and moved in breadth. It was melancholy but gradually crescendo-ed into subtle tenderness. Arabella gently stepped down the steps back into the spotlight. She was carrying the glass of water of which she was soon to give to Mandryck.  What sparkling light reflected off of her makeup and gown.

Then, much more quickly then the moment had taken to produce, our beautiful Arabella lost her footing. Her graced turned into puppet-like stumbling, then tumbling down the steps. Ouch.

The sudden disruption surprised the conductor as he also lost his balance. Waving his arms now like reeds in the wind he too stumbled backwards off the conductors stand and into the floor level seating area. The orchestra burst into hysterical confusion; some violinists abruptly stopped playing while others continued off time and off tune. Finally the orchestra realized the catastrophe and halted playing.

Silence filled the auditorium. The poor vocalist, Arabella, rose to her feet. She was horrified. It was one of those suffocating silences where the audience sat in disbelief--everyone gasping for some bit of sound that would break the awkwardness.

From Box 3 came a chuckle and applause from a single set of hands. Franz Josef was delighted for he had been awakened from his boredom. Trying to hold back his laughter, he yelled, "Wunderbar!, Bravo!" To him, this was the first opera that was clearly inspirational and entertaining.

Monday, November 2, 2009

LA Gear, The 80s fashion shoe is coming back

Nick Corotan and I created this ad campaign for LA Gear. The strategy was to position LA Gear as the shoe that has made a stupendous comeback, unlike many other 80s fads (Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, etc.)

"December 2008 marked a triumphant return to the apex of popular culture for iconic sneaker brand L.A. Gear. Bringing back signature styles from its hugely popular '89-'90 Unstoppable line, while updating some colors and materials, the company launched L.A. Gear Originals."

LA Gear was booming in the 80s but they severely lost market share in the 90s (probably because the style was no longer the fad). LA Gear filed for bankruptcy in the 90s. Now they are making a comeback. I've noticed many people on campus wearing LA Gear styled shoes.Even Nick said he liked the blue and green one in the first ad. He said he wishes he could buy a pair.


This comeback is just two feet away

Some comebacks don't make it... some do


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Christine's Cooking Creations - A new blog

Christine has started a blog. We're currently looking for a good domain (the ideal, "", is taken). She's going to be cooking some very fun and interesting recipes. And, I must add, she is a good cook. She derides her talented cooking creativity from watching her mother, living in multiple countries, and having superb gourmet intuition.

I invite you to take a look at her blog. Currently, we're hosting Christine's Cooking blog at Last night she made a wonderful Pad Thai dish. I was very impressed. Take a look at her site and enjoy her creations.

Posted via email from davidscoville's posterous

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Retire Early" Advertising Campaign

Here's how the "Save Money" campaigns turned out after I talked to Professor McKinley. I decided to make it a little more causal: If you save you'll retire early; If you don't save, you'll have headaches and never retire.

Jim retires at 45.
Bob and Shirley keep working.

Jim Redding
Jim saved just $500/month and did without unnecessary memberships and credit cards. Now he’s looking at a $500,000 retirement at age 45. Jim doesn’t deal with the financial headaches that many Americans suffer from. He always goes by the saying, “don’t spend what you don’t have.”

Bob Thompson
Bob lives on the edge--the edge of financial ruin. With over $11,000 in credit card debt, he’ll consider himself lucky when he’ll pay it off in 20 years, having spent $4,700 on interest. In the meantime he’ll max out a few more credit cards and keep getting headaches.

Shirley Pilford
Shirley’s more concerned about spending rather than saving.  She can’t give up her cable tv. After all, she’s got 1,000 channels, of which 10 she actually watches. She won’t go without her 5 subscriptions to magazines she never has time to read. And what about her membership at the gym she doesn’t have to time to go to?

Mug shots from istockphoto.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

$60,000 in Internet Marketing

My company is giving away $60,000 in internet marketing for any company that has really suffered during the recession. It will be a very exciting contest. We've called it the Ultimate Web Marketing Makeover because it's a makeover for a company's online presence, just like they do on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I had the opportunity to work on our landing page: Jeff Call came up with the original graphics and I implemented his work into a landing page. 

After working at for over a year, I'm really impressed with the growth we've had. We've got a full office of some really great talent: social media experts, ppc experts, conversion experts, and, of course, SEO experts. 

Albert Mitchell helped to put together this video about the contest:

If you're a winner of this contest, you'll be amazed at how much traffic you'll get with your awarded 6-month contract. You'll have some of the best online marketing gurus help your site slam the competition. Best of luck! 

Posted via email from davidscoville's posterous

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Save More. Spend Less. - Be thrifty campaign

Big debt is not a
“problem-free philosophy”


As far as we’re concerned, “Hakuna Matata” isn’t a financial term. America’s total consumer debt is $2.6 trillion. That’s $8,500 for every American citizen--and that doesn’t include real estate. Unnecessary debt contributes to depression, bad credit, and a poor economy. Next time you think about making a big purchase, ask yourself: “Do I really have the money?”

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Who was ever a proponent of faith?

Mahatma Ghandi
Jesus Christ
Walt Disney
Joan of Arc
Martin Luther
Winston Churchill
Abraham Lincoln
George Washington
Apostle Paul
Nelson Mandela
Jan Hus
John Calvin
Albert Einstein

Posted via email from davidscoville's posterous

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Favorite Disneyland Castle Image

I think this image is superb. I have it hung in my cubicle. The colors are so rich and crisp.

Although it was originally called Snow White's castle, the name was changed to Sleeping Beauty's Castle. There is also a walk-through of the castle that depicts the Sleeping Beauty Story in storybook images.

Disneyworld Castle

Below is the Disneyworld castle. It is called Cinderella's castle and is much taller and more ornate than the Disneyland Castle.

Disneyworld Magic Kingdom Tilt-Shift Video

I just watched this video today and had to post it:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Produce 2 Print Ads: One with Copy Only, One with Illustration Only

When it comes to the alphabet, 'm' is all you need. Forget 'a-l' and 'n-z', 'm' is where it's at. Since 1941, the recognizeable 'm' has become and American icon for the colorful candy which has brought delightful chocolate goodness to millions. mmmmmmm...M&Msadvertisement, laptop, mmmmmm... M&Ms

What do you think? Do they share the same idea? Are they effective?

When it comes to the alphabet, 'm' is all you need.

Forget 'a-l' and 'n-z', 'm' is where it's at. Since 1941, the recognizeable 'm' has become and American icon for the colorful candy which has brought delightful chocolate goodness to millions. mmmmmmmm...


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Print Ad Remake-- Single Edge

Here's the original ad I found from the BusinessQ magazine (2007 publication)

I felt the image in the original was not effective for the audience of the ad--business people. Most business people don't really care what is behind the scenes of their website; i.e., how big, sleek, or clean their servers are. They just want to know that the technical side of their business works well and either keeps costs down or increases revenue.

I decided to utilize SingleEdge's logo--the power button symbol. What came of a little thinking was the idea that eBusiness should be simple and get the job done. Thus I said, "eBusiness as simple as pushing the power button."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bits of interestingness

This is Saroooh when we went to Disneyland a few years ago. She's very pensive. I believe she was in deep thought over the relationship between Minnie and Mickey. Saroooh means business--monkey business.

This is lieblingsmensch feeding bread to this rubber ducky. She really cares about the homeless ducks around campus.

I had the most scrumptious lasagna tonight made by lieblingsmensch. It was utterly delicious, and lieblingsmensch is sick. We will have it for lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Somehow, the atonement will make things right

The atonement of the savior Jesus Christ is the only thing that will save us from destruction. I don't mean world destruction. I mean pure destruction of self. We all suffer. If we're not careful we'll destroy ourselves. Christ cares. I feel this is true.

Snapshots. .

A sweet person. Pretty, isn't she.

A speedy baby duck looking for his little brother. Poor guy.

What a sweet dog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Closeups in Photography

I was a very involved photographer in high school. I was just going through some of my photos and found some of my favorites. I've always been interested in texture and color. Closeups can really bring out texture. These were taken with my film SLR and the negatives were scanned at high quality.

A little flying bug.
A little toad.
A yellow lily.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Love is.

Are you in love? I am.

What should I do to show her that I love her?

I want to show her that when she suffers, I suffer. When she is in pain, I am in pain. When she is happy, I am happy.

I want to tell her that she is beautiful. She is beautiful.

The more I speak to her, the more I learn about life. I learn about confidence, tolerance, love. Especially love.

What does it mean to love someone?

Love is to wish for one to be happy, regardless of the pain or consequences it takes to make this person happy.

Love is to choose to be happy, regardless of misfortunes.

To love someone, is to have faith in one's self.

Love is never jealous. Love is selfless.

To love someone is to step out of personal comforts--personal barriers.

Love is liberation of self.

Hate divides. Love connects.

Love is divine. One in love is close to God.

"To love another person is to see the face of God."

Love is to choose to see the beauty in another--to look past imperfections.. To choose to see her loyalty, her integrity, her trust, her faith, her compassion, her understanding.

What is beautiful about two people who love each other? The more she loves me, the more I change. I lose imperfections, because she chooses to look past those imperfections.

People aren't born with the ability to walk, to talk. They don't know how to write, or read. They don't know how to hate.

However. People know love.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Return to Ethics in Society

In a world of degrading values, we must make a commitment to stand for Christ-like values, such as morality, integrity, civility, love, etc. The most long-lasting and truly effective means of saving a society from self-destruction is not in new policy but by the upholding of traditional values in the lives of individuals and families. Those in professional fields of communication have an obligation to themselves, their society, and to God, to “stand for something” good when it seems that no one else will.


“As we look with love and gratitude to God, and as we serve others with no apparent recompense for ourselves, there will come a greater sense of service toward our fellow human beings, less thinking of self and more reaching out to others” (pg. 11).


“Without honesty, our lives disintegrate into ugliness, chaos, and a lack of any kind of security and confidence. Imagine a society in which it would be unwise or unsafe to trust anyone—from elected officials to financial advisers to insurance adjusters to your child's babysitter or kindergarten teacher” (pg. 18).

Media, as in the case of morals, preaches that dishonesty is tolerable and, in many instances, acceptable. “We are barraged with vivid displays of dishonesty on the nightly news. The media parade before us a veritable procession of deception in its many ugly forms” (pg. 20).

A business's level of integrity depends on the integrity of its workers: “Indeed, the strength and safety of any organization—including the family—lie in the integrity of its members. Witout personal integrity, there can be no confidence” (pg. 21).


Many of the worlds problems would be solved if traditional morals were kept. Too many issues stem from a new “freedom” promulgated by media.

“Our legislatures and courts are affected by this wave [of immorality]... This is done in the name of freedom—freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of choice in so-called personal matters. But the abuse of these freedoms has yielded enslavement to degrading habits, and behavior that leads only to destruction.” (pg. 40)

A majority of Americans, referring to Michael Medved from his book Hollywood vs. America, object to the amount of violence and immorality found in Hollywood films. “The producers of this trash are out of step with the feelings of mainstream America. But in their obsession, they are without doubt influencing and leading millions down a course that invites all too many to readjust their personal moral standards.” (pg. 40)

It is ignorant to think that hours of watching immoral behavior on television has no effect on one's life. Advertisers are willing to pay millions for a 30 second spot during the Super Bowl. “Apparently, a host of advertisers felt confident that in thirty seconds' time they could influence their viewers to buy the products or services they were peddling” (pg. 42).

Life changes under small turns. It is not the few monumental events which stake our direction, but the many small choices and pressures that we face everyday—especially during a time when we are inundated with media. “The lesson of the switch point is similar to the workings of a large and heavy farm gate. Such a gate moves very little at the hinges but a long way out at the circumference” (pg. 47).

“The kingdom of God is not a democracy. Wickedness and righteousness are not legislated by majority vote. Right and wrong are not determined by polls or pundits, though many would have us believe otherwise” (pg. 50).


Within the walls of our own nation, we are losing civility to gangs and violence. “A study sponsored by the National Insitute of Justice concluded that crime costs Americans at least 450 billion dollars a year... The Defense Department's budget in 1995 was 252 billion dollars, so the cost of crime is essentially twice the amount we spend to defend our nation” (pg. 58).

Weakening civility begins with a descending courtesy. President Hinckley quoted a writer: “'The hip heroes of movies today deliver gratuitous put-downs to ridicule and belittle anyone who gets in their way. Bad manners, apparently, make a saleable commodity” (pg. 58).

The degradation of language with vulgarity, rudeness and crudeness is a major factor in our lack of civility.

“This is the essence of civility—to extend, without price, a helping or lifting hand to those in need; to anxiously look for ways to strengthen those who may have less than we do” (pg. 62).


Education is the process of making abstract ideas useful and training the mind and body. There are unfortunate avenues that draw us away from true education: “May I be so bold as to suggest that far too many people spend far too much time mesmerized by the mindless drivel that too often inhabits television airwaves, videos, and other forms of electronic media” (pg. 70).

“It has been estimated that the average child in the United States watches something approaching 8,000 hours of television before he or she even begins school” (pg. 72).

Learning should continue throughout one's life: “The more we learn, the more we are in a position to learn” (pg. 71).

Knowledge comes from God. President Hinckley quotes Brigham Young as saying that all knowledge comes from a divine source, whether thinkers choose to believe it or not (pg. 78).

Forgivenss and Mercy

Holding onto grudges holds back progression while it cankers the soul. This attitude causes many problems in the professional world of business. “We need them among business associates who quarrel and refuse to compromise or forgive when, in most instances, a willingness to sit down together, exercise compassion, and speak quietly one to another could resolve the matter to the blessing of all” (pg. 82).

“We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon on the Mount... Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living” (pg 83 -General Omar Bradley).

Thrift and Industry

A society without the virtue of quality work cannot last. Individuals who do not cherish work, will miss the purpose and meaning of life: “The process of stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands lifts us from the stagnation of mediocrity” (pg. 95).

Thrift and industry allow a family to be strong and independent. This in turns builds a strong nation (pg. 97).

Excessive debt is the enemy and opposite of thrift. It is especially rampant during our current time of a global economic crisis. “Bankruptcy generally is the bitter fruit of debt, overextension, and uncontrolled appetites. It is a tragic culmination of a simple process of borrowing more than one can repay. I deplore waste. I deplore unnecessary and uncontrolled extravagance. I value thrift” (pg. 97).

The media plays a heavy role in a society want of thrift: “Seductive advertising strives to persuade us that we deserve to have it all and have it now, regardless of the cost. There is a lack of self-discipline and financial self-control that promises future doom” (pg. 98).


Those who live in this country should be extremely grateful for what they have. “Gratitude is a sign of maturity. It is an indication of sincere humility. It is a hallmark of civility” (pg. 106).

There are a host of things that we can be grateful for. Among other things, President Hinckley mentions his gratitude for his belief in God and Jesus Christ. He also shares his gratitude for a religiously free society. “Our television screens have carried into our own homes the demonstrations and cries of many people for freedom and liberty concerning basic human rights that we take for granted” (pg. 113). Thus, the extensive world coverage that we receive on the news should promote us to gratitude more than anything else.


The media is a major factor for a poor world outlook. The news is constantly barraging us with stories of death, deceit and carnage. “Pick up any major daily newspaper or weekly news magazine, or turn to the news on any one of the many available channels. It is impossible to read the columns or listen to the commentaries without sensing that there is a terrible ailment of gloom in this land” (pg. 115-116).

Many of the well educated writers have lent themselves entirely to negativism. This kind oft attitude makes society a weak as people become stagnant and critical of their surroundings. “This spirit of negativism grows and begins to hang as a cloud over the land, providing a misleading portrait of the facts and, in the process, reaching down to the individual man and woman and influencing attitudes, outlook, and even values” (pg. 116).

Faith in one's self and in others lifts the soul to accomplish much good. “What wonders we can accomplish when others have faith in us! No leader can long succeed in any society without the confidence of the people. It is so with our daily associations” (pg. 122).


“We simply cannot do as much alone as we can when we team our efforts with the divine” (pg. 128).

“Without preservation and cultivation of the things spiritual, our material success will be as ashes in our mouths. The spirit is as much a part of a person as is the body, and it too needs nourishment—the nourishment born of faith in and devotion to a Supreme Being” (pg. 131).

According to President Hinckley, a spiritual perspective is essential for a healthy society.

Prayer is an essential part of virtuous and faithful living.

President Hinckley clearly has a powerful perspective on living righteously. The problem that faces value-driven students, about to enter the job force, is the fact that these students are becoming the minorities in their conviction to morals. Thus, it requires increasingly more effort and especially conviction to “stand for something” right. Business's goal is to make money. Advertising (my major) seeks only to increase the bottom line of the client. However, media without ethics will drag society into destruction. Hinckley predicts our society to become desolate of real peace and happiness—an environment of increased war and poverty is the direction we are heading if we continue to ignore traditional values.

As future media professionals, we have the charge to uphold these values rather than following the crowd which currently exists in Hollywood and across advertising and news agencies. On a priority scale, Hinckley makes it clear that ethics in the workplace are more important than business profit.

With this charge in mind, Communication professionals who believe in these ideals such as honesty and morality should be prepared and willing to set ethics above their positions, salaries, bonuses, etc. What does this necessarily mean to the average editor for a local newspaper or the photographer in an ad agency? The editor must choose to remove eye-catching, sensational material from his or her paper which contains false statements. The photographer must stand up against the ideal that “sex sells” in providing imagery for magazine ads.

Going against the norm of shoddy morals and slacking integrity could mean losing one's job, or being held from rising in company position. This is can often be a very difficult position to take, especially when the right side is not so apparent. However, according to Hinckley and my own personal opinion, true, traditional ethics must be upheld by individuals in order for any change to occur in society.

I find a connection in Hinckley's thoughts with those of Moulton in his Moulton model. That is that a foundation of ethics in society provides a buffer zone between free choice and law—an optimum soft-spot between anarchy and totalitarianism. It is vital that we uphold to traditional ethics, rather than skewed modern ethics. Finally, we must remember that the only way to propel the process of elevating our ethics is the application of ethics in our individual lives.

Hinckley, Gordon Bitner. Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes. Three Rivers Pr. 2001

Thursday, March 19, 2009

D&C 42:22–23. “Marriage Presupposes Total Allegiance and Fidelity”

“When the Lord says all thy heart, it allows for no sharing nor dividing nor depriving. And, to the woman it is paraphrased: ‘Thou shalt love thy husband with all thy heart and shalt cleave unto him and none else.’

“The words none else eliminate everyone and everything. The spouse then becomes preeminent in the life of the husband or wife, and neither social life nor occupational life nor political life nor any other interest nor person nor thing shall ever take precedence over the companion spouse. We sometimes find women who absorb and hover over the children at the expense of the husband, sometimes even estranging them from him.

“The Lord says to them: ‘Thou shalt cleave unto him and none else.’

“Marriage presupposes total allegiance and total fidelity. Each spouse takes the partner with the understanding that he or she gives totally to the spouse all the heart, strength, loyalty, honor, and affection, with all dignity. Any divergence is sin; any sharing of the heart is transgression. As we should have ‘an eye single to the glory of God,’ so should we have an eye, an ear, a heart single to the marriage and the spouse and family.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 142–43.)

Source: D&C Student Manual

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sesame Street Aliens

Their language is so advanced that they only use speed and inflections to relate deeply intelligent and philosophical topics. Unbelievably, they use basically two words: "yip" and "uh-huh".

Thursday, January 29, 2009


President Joseph F. Smith counseled:
“It is not the words we use particularly that constitute prayer. Prayer does not consist of words, altogether. True, faithful, earnest prayer consists more in the feeling that rises from the heart and from the inward desire of our spirits to supplicate the Lord in humility and in faith, that we may receive his blessings.”
(Gospel Doctrine, p. 219.)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Love is everything it's cracked up to be

"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
-Lord Alfred Tennyson

"You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you do not trust enough"
-Frank Crane
"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more."
-Erica Jong

Good Days

The bad days make the good days even better.
-Garry Scoville (Dad)

Infinite Atonement

What exactly does the word infinity mean? I have heard from great men who teach that "infinite" implies the overcoming of time and space.

Jesus Christ suffered for the pain of all mankind, from Adam to the new born baby who was born 10 seconds ago. His Atonement passes all time.

It's also true that the atonement reaches to all mankind, from the island dweller to the city folk. It also reaches to all of God's children across the universe. His Atonement surpasses all space.

Put these thoughts aside for a moment and think about another example that deals with 'infinity'. What does infinity really mean? It defines a measurement with no beginning and no end. Incomprehensible, right? Suppose one were to add 10 units to infinity. What would be the result? Infinity. Suppose one were to add 10 million units to infinity. What then would be the result? Still infinity. Again, Darin has provided me with an insightful example:

Suppose that each individual on the earth can accomplish good, and we begin to rate ourselves based upon the good we do. The vilest of sinners will be a 1, and the most holy, unselfish person will be a 10. I probably stand somewhere around a 5. It's fairly depressing to begin comparing our personal numbers to the numbers of those around us. I suppose you would feel really good about yourself if you were a 7--because you are 2 points better than I am! However, comparing gets us nowhere.

Enter Jesus Christ. What's his number? It is infinity. How would you like to compare yourself to Christ? When I stand myself up against Christ, my number 5 is worth nothing. There is no way that my 5 will increase the number infinity. It's mathematically, hogwash. The atonement, in essence, makes us one with Christ. He adds his 'infinity' to our feeble 2 or 5 or 9. Do you see how our little number, even if it were a ten, stands as nothing compared to Christ? It doesn't matter if we're a 10 like Thomas S. Monson or Mother Teresa. These individuals still require Christ's infinity.

Jesus Christ is our redeemer. May we understand our complete reliance on His atonement. May we see our own nothingness, and finally, may we stop comparing ourselves. We're all as little children, in constant need of nourishment. Why don't we live together and laugh together in the journey of life. I say this as much to myself as to anyone else.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

We MUST rely on Christ

Below is a string of messages that were started by me out of curiosity over a small article I read about socialism. However, tangents led the theme to Jesus Christ and the atonement. Start from the bottom, for that was the first message. Then read up, as different people make comments in replying emails.

From David (me)

I wanted to further discuss something I wrote here. Don't feel obligated to read, I'm just thinking out loud: However, if we choose to be diligent out of complete "unconditional love" (the type of love where we still follow even if we're denied salvation), then we're doing it unselfishly and trying to copy the same grace that Christ gave us.
Being completely unselfish in doing "good" is not a saving principle. "No one is good, no not one." Christ has already saved us... If we think we are supposed to be completely unselfish (meaning we ask for nothing, not even His grace), then we have failed in understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. We NEED Christ. There's no way getting around that, and he's already offered an escape from the personal hell we put ourselves into. We can become healed and cleaned. Lost experiences, trust, and faith, can be returned. Here I present a sort of paradox: We MUST rely on Christ (we must ask for His grace--we must, in essence, think of ourselves), the author and finisher of our faith, in order to learn charity--the most unselfish, pure love. Does that seem a little confusing to anyone?
But the part of the gospel that talks about redemption, atonement, unconditional love, being born again, the love of the Savior--that confuses them. They don't really understand it. They don't really get it. They could give a great sacrament meeting talk on it, because they're very bright and they know how all the words fit together. But in their hearts, that part of the gospel confuses them. Many of them are men who think to themselves or who seem to view it as though, "I can accept the atonement of Jesus Christ after I've repented and overcome this and left all this alone. After I've done this, then I can accept the atonement to kind of clean up the mess I made along the way. But not right now, not while I'm so bad. I've got to overcome this on my own, and then the atonement is available to me." It's the equivalent of saying, "I can accept the atonement as soon as I prove I don't need it, as soon as I prove I don't need it."

Dr. Robinson -

After reading that statement, I think that not accepting Christ is more selfish.
So what are we to do with this life? Christ has already redeemed us. Life is to be spent in His service out of absolute gratitude for His grace and love.

From David Scoville (me)

We all will be resurrected and at least obtain the telestial kingdom. That is the free gift. To go beyond that requires diligence, repentance, and obedience.

I know I am putting this conversation into a "faith and works" tangent, but I would like to gather more discussion. Wouldn't it be somewhat of mockery before God if we were to say we had a hand in our own exaltation? That's a question you get frequently in the South. No man can save himself. But can man help in saving himself? Does one say, "I'm in the celestial kingdom because Christ and I worked on it together" or does one say "I'm in the celestial kingdom because of Christ alone"? Maybe it doesn't matter, and I shouldn't worry about it--but I still think it's a worthy thought. When reading Paul, we can easily interpret him in saying that there is nothing, and I mean nothing that we can do to receive salvation, except accept (ha ha awkward wording) the gift of the atonement.

This then goes back to motives. What are our motives for "diligence, repentance, and obedience" - is it to "return to heavenly father" as we hear so often from nursery to young mens/young womens? If that is our motive, then we are technically selfish and capitalistic. However, if we choose to be diligent out of complete "unconditional love" (the type of love where we still follow even if we're denied salvation), then we're doing it unselfishly and trying to copy the same grace that Christ gave us. However, this logic is becoming circular. No one, in my opinion, can be completely unselfish. However, it's much better to follow the commandments 'selfishly' then not to follow at all.

Below is a chat conversation I had with Tyler concerning capitalism:

Tyler: As far as capitalism's not the best or the ideal economic system, but it's the best we've got.
Just like democracy is not ideal, but it's the best we've got and it's lasted for a long time.
Ich: yeah, I agree
Tyler: The thing about socialism is that it has good ends
Ich: I haven't seen any lately
Tyler: Well, it INTENDS good ends
but the means deprive people of AGENCY, which is our most valuable possession
It intends to provide for everyone, but in a way, it forces citizens to be charitable
Ich: satans plan in disguise
Tyler: Bingo
So the plan of salvation is interesting because there are no guarantees for success
Ich: interesting
Tyler: You have to CHOOSE to be charitable
if you're not, you'll be judged accordingly
So, capitalism, or free market economies, are about freedom. The "problem" is that there is no guarantee for success
So, ideally, those who are successful in capitalism should share their wealth of their own free will and choice

From Garry

Interesting conversation you've started here, David.

First, my comments assume that capitalism is - you get what you work for.

In our mortal world, capitalism is skewed and inconsistent. Some people do not get what they work for. Some work hard and even smart, but still fail. Some people are disadvantaged due to physical, mental, or emotional detriments. Some people are greedy and take advantage of others and get ahead by maintaining poverty. In capitalism there will always be wealth and poverty and it's not always based on what I do.

I believe capitalism depends on some being poor and some being wealthy. Service workers can't make $100K / year if the business owner wants to make the same. So the privileged, greedy, hard working, and intelligent rise to the top. That's not to say that all wealthy are greedy, but I still wonder how someone who makes millions is willing to pay the single mother $10/hour.

The principles of Mormonism are almost pure capitalism (I get what I work for). The Lord's plan says, be obedient and you will have eternal life. Everyone, including the disadvantaged, has an equal opportunity to receive the eternal life and become like God. It may take some longer but everyone who desires and follows the rules, will make it.

The idea that the atonement is a free gift is true, but there must still be some diligence to receive the highest reward. We all will be resurrected and at least obtain the telestial kingdom. That is the free gift. To go beyond that requires diligence, repentance, and obedience.

But the church is more than "you get what you work for." It also teaches mercy and charity. It recognizes that people in this life will be disadvantaged and need help regardless of the reason. That's why King Benjamin said:

16 And also, ye yourselves will asuccor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the bbeggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.
17 Perhaps thou shalt asay: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—
18 But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

The beggar often appears as if they deserve what they got. But Christianity says help them anyway. That's not capitalism.

When I was younger, I was a pure republican and very capitalistic. As I've grown up, I've become more moved by King Benjamin's teaching and the principles of charity and mercy. In the early days of the church, Joseph Smith started a business - a retail store. It went bankrupt because he kept giving to people who couldn't pay. That's remarkable and admirable; but not very successful or capitalistic.

Ok, I've rambled too much.

From David (me)

We are all capitalists in our own lives even for finding our daily bread.

Yes, but wouldn't a true Christian have no thought for his personal daily bread but be more concerned that others are fed. Christ took no thought for his own life but gave it freely to others. True sacrifice means giving. However, I create a contradiction in my own words: logically, if everyone gave, who would receive? Interesting. For Christianity to work, there must be both giving and receiving. Thus, receiving (taking something for our self) is not necessarily selfish or wrong. The question then is, how do we balance giving and receiving in our lives.

From Nelson

I like the article and am impressed with your thinking and interests. In regards to your question one thing that comes to mind is our understanding of God. He is perfect and although He can't become more righteous His kingdom is continually progressing. I can't image a heaven where Gods are socialistic relaying on the angelic governments and other Gods/angels for their kingdom to grow. I believe God is a capitalist in the true and correct definition (take away personal bias). Definition- Capitalism: an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth. We are all capitalists in our own lives even for finding our daily bread. Our goal is to grow toward him and in this world of strife we are learning how to love him. I am interested in your thoughts on how the atonement fits in with my comments.

From David (first email message sent)

This is one of the reasons that I am not a fan of socialism--I'm still a fan of Germany though. At least read this excerpt:

"While at the beginning of the 1960s social spending in Europe was only slightly higher than in the U.S., by the end of the 1990s, it was twice as much. "Americans are not as obsessed with social insurance because they think if they work hard they will get rich," says Robert MacCulloch, a professor of economics at Princeton University. And they think that once they get rich, they won't want to be burdened with high taxes to cover welfare costs. In Europe, many feel their chances of improving their lot are lower, increasing their appetite for assistance from the state, he says. Europeans also favor income equality more than Americans, surveys show."

It is interesting how our culture really defines our economic policies: "Americans... think if they work hard they will get rich" I agree with that. The more people that believe in work, the better our economy will be. The catch is that we don't force people to work--socialist policies lean in that direction.

I don't mean to say that American culture is the most "holy" but it ties in more closely to Mormon culture. We are transforming members all over the world to be more "capitalist minded"--through our PEC fund and our emphasis on hard work. In essence it goes back to some our underlying (and possibly skewed) beliefs: He who keeps the commandments, gets the rewards of eternal life.

I would also like to make a note about that last sentence. That is a major principle of the gospel, but our belief shouldn't rest on it. I understand that D&C 130 says all blessings are retrieved by obedience. However, it makes no guarantee that we will receive blessings in the first place. Our diligence does not entitle us to any blessing or reward. The atonement is a gift, and the definition of a gift is something unconditionally offered with no obligation for returned compensation. All we've got to do is accept it. From this standpoint, the ideal of capitalism (you get what you work for) seems in direct conflict with true Christianity. So why are Mormons such capitalists? (I would appreciate your thoughts)

David Scoville

P.S. I am still a great advocate of German economics and there can be some worthwhile ideas within socialism. After all, Germany has the 3rd greatest economy in the world. I still wouldn't mind living there.


David Scoville

David Scoville
-- Sincerely, David Scoville

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Miracle of Miracles: Forgiveness

Indeed the day of miracles has not passed except for those who will not heed the call of the Lord and of his servants, who night and day warn and plead and implore. There is a glorious miracle awaiting every soul who is prepared to change. Repentance and forgiveness make a brilliant day of the darkest night. When souls are reborn, when lives are changed--then comes the great miracle to beautify and warm and lift. When spiritual death has threatened and now instead there is resuscitation, when life pushes out death--when this happens it is the miracle of miracles. And such great miracles will never cease so long as there is one person who applies the redeeming power of the Savior and his own good works to bring about his rebirth.
-Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Ch. 23