Confidence Schemes

Daily Bread for 2.28.24: Before Glascow, There Was Jefferson, Wisconsin

 Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be windy with a high of 41. Sunrise is 6:31 and sunset 5:43 for 11h 12m 08s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 85.9 percent of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 1983, the final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 110 million viewers.

Readers in the area may remember the sham Harry Potter Warriors & Wizards festival that Jefferson, Wisconsin once held. That so-called festival was a threadbare event that advertised extravagantly yet produced shabbily. 

See Roundup on Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival, Attack of the Dirty Dogs, Jefferson’s Dirty Dogs Turn Mangy, Thanks, City of Jefferson!Who Will Jefferson’s Residents Believe: Officials or Their Own Eyes?Why Dirty Dogs Roam With Impunity,  Found Footage: Daily Union Arrives on Subscriber’s Doorstep, Sad Spectacle in Jefferson, WI (and How to Do Much Better), What Else Would a Publisher Lie About?, Iceberg Aside, Titanic‘s Executive Pleased with Ship’s Voyage, and New Developments About Jefferson, Wisconsin’s ‘Warriors & Wizards’ Festival.

Well, Scotland has its own version of this problem, as different promoters are working from the same promise-big-deliver-nothing playbook. Benj Edwards reports Cops called after parents get tricked by AI-generated images of Wonka-like event (‘Dull in-person warehouse for kids doesn’t live up to technicolor AI-generated promo images’): 

On Saturday, event organizers shut down a Glasgow-based “Willy’s Chocolate Experience” after customers complained that the unofficial Wonka-inspired event, which took place in a sparsely decorated venue, did not match the lush AI-generated images listed on its official website (archive here). According to Sky News, police were called to the event, and “advice was given.”

“What an absolute shambles of an event,” wrote Stuart Sinclar on Facebook after paying 35 pounds per ticket for himself and his kids. “Took 2 minutes to get through to then see a queue of people surrounding the guy running it complaining … The kids received 2 jelly babies and a quarter of a can of Barrs limeade.”

The Willy’s Chocolate Experience website, which promises “a journey filled with wondrous creations and enchanting surprises at every turn,” features five AI-generated images (likely created with OpenAI’s DALL-E 3) that evoke a candy-filled fantasy wonderland inspired by the Willy Wonka universe and the recent Wonka film. But in reality, Sinclair was met with a nearly empty location with a few underwhelming decorations and a tiny bouncy castle. In one photo shared by Sinclair, a rainbow arch leads to a single yellow gummy bear and gum drop sitting on a bare concrete floor.

The promise and the reality differed: 

It isn’t often that Jefferson, Wisconsin gets ahead of a large European city, but in the race to the bottom, Jefferson beat Glascow by years.

Poland’s Top Envoy Lands Blow With Russia Takedown at UN

Daily Bread for 8.16.23: Foxconn Bails on “Innovation Centers”… Of Course.

Good morning. Wednesday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of 80. Sunrise is 6:03 AM and sunset 7:54 PM for 13h 51m 52s of daytime. The moon is new with none of its visible disk illuminated. On this day in 1930, the first color sound cartoon, Fiddlesticks, is released by Ub Iwerks.…

Daily Bread for 1.29.23: Trump’s Social Network Littered with Ads for Miracle Cures, Scams, Fake Merchandise

Good morning. Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 19. Sunrise is 7:11 AM and sunset 5:04 PM for 9h 53m 05s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 59.5% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1845, “The Raven” is published in The Evening Mirror in New…

Daily Bread for 1.4.22: Theranos? Yeah, We Have a Few…

Good morning. Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 30.  Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:35 PM for 9h 09m 40s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 4.5% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1923, Milton College president A.E. Whitford bans dancing by students in off-campus, semi-public…

Daily Bread for 12.11.21: A Christmas Gift For, and About, Scheming Development Men

Good morning. Saturday in Whitewater will see snow this morning, of little accumulation, on an otherwise cloudy day with a high of 36.  Sunrise is 7:16 AM and sunset 4:20 PM for 9h 04m 43s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 55.4% of its visible disk illuminated.  On this day in 1901, Morris Pratt…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Marketing

This is the ninth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Through all the difficult events of the last two decades (a Great Recession, an opioid epidemic, economic stagnation, creeping nativism, a pandemic, a pandemic recession), Old Whitewater has responded with the same question: how can we market the town to others? If…

Film: Made You Look: A True Story of Fake Art

Filmmaker Barry Avrich (David Foster: Off the Record, Prosecuting Evil) explores how one of the most respected art galleries in New York City became the center of the largest art fraud in American history and was ultimately forced to close after 165 years. Knoedler & Company, under its president, Ann Freedman, made millions selling previously…