Thursday, August 9, 2007

AUGUST 9, 2007

If you ask a preschooler, anything made by McDonald's tastes better. That's the conclusion of a Stanford University study involving 63 low-income kids ages 3 to 5 from Head Start centers in San Mateo County, California.

The kids sampled identical McDonald's foods one wrapped in name-brand paper, the other in unmarked wrappers. The unmarked foods always lost the taste test. Even carrots, milk and apple juice tasted better to the kids if it was wrapped in McDonald's paper.

French fries were the biggest winner; almost 77 percent said the labeled fries tasted best while just 13 percent chose the unlabeled fries even though they were the same exact fries.

Fewer than a quarter of the kids said that both samples tasted the same. Feel better? Mind over matter? That's called advertising and the researchers say this proves how easily advertising can trick you --or in this case, your kids.

When you watch the audition rounds of American Idol, they always have some sad backstory to go with one of the contestants... Well, here's one that's GUARANTEED to make it on-air in the coming season.

On Monday, 3,500 wannabe singers were in line at Texas Stadium in Dallas, waiting for their chance to audition. One of them, 20-year-old ANTORIA GILLON. . . who was nine months pregnant. . . went into LABOR.

Now, a SANE person would've probably had someone call for an ambulance. . . and waited until next year to try out for "Idol". But Antoria refused to leave the auditions until she had a chance to perform in front of the judges.

Antoria made her way to the front of the line, went into the audition room, and then. . . while shaking and holding her belly through her contractions. . . she began singing.

Antoria was immediately given a seat, and an ambulance was called. But when it got there, she still didn't want to leave, because she hadn't finished her audition.

Only after being told that she was still in the running did she finally agree to go to the hospital. She had a boy, by the way. . . and she named him Jamil Labarron IDOL McCowan! ("Idol" is also the name of her second child, by the way.)

Antoria says, quote, "I gave it my all through the contractions. They were back to back and getting harder and harder but I was more than willing to have my baby right there. I wasn't leaving without my golden ticket to the next round."

And what about poor Jamil Labarron Idol? He'll always know that his mom valued a televised singing competition over his safety.

Earlier this year, Leroy Green of Missouri City, Texas was cheating on his girlfriend. He wanted to send his secret girl a dozen red roses and a stuffed animal. . . and he decided to use 1-800-Flowers to make that happen.

When he talked with 1-800-Flowers, he told them to keep the whole transaction a SECRET. . . and to make sure NOT to send a receipt to his home or his office.

1-800-Flowers ignored him. . . and, a few months later, they sent a thank you card to his house. Leroy's girlfriend found the card while she was housesitting... and called 1-800-Flowers to ask who got the roses and the stuffed animal, because it sure as heck wasn't her.

They gladly faxed her Leroy's order... and she found out the stuff had gone to another woman, along with a note reading, quote, "Just wanted to say I love you and you mean the world to me! -Leroy." So... she broke up with him.

Now, Leroy is SUING 1-800-Flowers for $1 MILLION in damages for their breach of contract action... which outed him as a cheater.