Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, August 26, 2021

Bridget Jones is kicking Fabio’s ass. Harlequin, a publisher long synonymous with trashy romance novels, is facing falling sales due to the siphoning away of its traditional audience by chick-lit and other genres.

Who knew that Harlequin was a Canadian operation? And that it’s run by the owner of the Toronto Star? I’d always assumed that Harelquin was an imprint of HarperCollins or some other traditional publishing powerhouse.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 11:20 PM
Category: Publishing
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Hundreds of community colleges, four-year universities and postgraduate programs have begun offering degrees and certificates in emergency preparedness, counterterrorism and security. Students study topics from political science and psychology to engineering and biotechnology to prepare for possible disasters.

“Homeland security will be the biggest government employer in the next decade or so,” says Steven David, chair of the graduate certificate program in homeland security at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which also offers a master’s in government with a concentration in homeland security. “America continues to face threats, and terrorism will never go away,” David says.

Yeah, right. I foresee all this security training resulting in a bunch of overqualified mall security guards when these graduates are scrounging for jobs a few years from now.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 10:48 PM
Category: Political
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shufflin' along
I believe I read somewhere that the majority of iPod owners regularly set their players on Shuffle. I know I do. Everyone likes variety.

When you’re dealing with thousands of music tracks, over a wide range of genres, you expect to go a long stretch between hearing the same song or artist. But that’s often not the case, prompting some to question the randomness of Shuffle and wonder if the iPod doesn’t “know” to play certain songs more than others.

I myself experienced this, and even after assuring myself that the probabilities checked out, still ditched every Police song off the little 5-gigger.

The obvious solution: Shuffle by genre, or artist, or some other tag. Slightly more ambitious would be creating enough playlists to cover your various musical moods. But that involves editing song tags, syncing up the iPod with your computer… Too much work.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 10:37 PM
Category: Pop Culture, iPod
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brewski for youski
Beer technology marches forward: Pittsburgh Brewing Company has developed an aluminum bottle for its flagship Iron City brew.

The pertinent question: Can you count on this metal bottle as a weapon in a bar fight? You sure can’t turn into a stabbing instrument like a glass bottle. Still, better this than one of those dopey plastic bottles.

Recycling-minded beer connoisseurs should rejoice:

Some people say they can taste the difference between beer in cans and bottles.

Lew Bryson, an author of two books on breweries, said those complaints are psychological, since the aluminum is coated. But, he said, there may be a lingering taste when the seal of an aluminum can is broken.

The aluminum bottle could eliminate that, he said.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 09:59 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg.
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wet 'n wild
Almost as soon as I got home from the office yesterday, it started to storm. As usual, it felt like it was directly on top of me, with near-incessant thunder and lightning. The building shook, my power went out three times (the 2-second outages that are typical in these situations; most annoying aspect is turning the TV back on and resetting clocks), and things outside got drenched.

Really didn’t seem like anything too out of the ordinary, especially for a summer evening in Tampa Bay. The continual lightning flashes tend to make me a bit jumpy, but otherwise, I hardly noticed it.

Turns out, this was no typical storm:

At 6 p.m., lightning was striking the area at a rate of about 1,500 times every 15 minutes, meteorologists said. The number slowly tapered, and by 7 p.m., it was about 500 to 600 strikes every 15 minutes. Lightning was believed to be the cause of a fire that destroyed a home in South Tampa, fire officials said. No serious injuries were reported.

Yes, this is why the local hockey team is dubbed “Lightning”.

This brings to mind a thought I had during the trials and tribulations of Charley: Why do we even have weather anymore? Haven’t we advanced beyond it? Can’t we put our technological resources toward doing away with it? Let’s just turn this planet into one gigantic Biosphere, with a constant temperature of 70 degrees, low humidity and moderate sunshine year-round. Scienticians, get to work!

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 04:06 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Weather
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1. Denial: I cannot believe Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is dead.

2. Anger: Her signature book, “On Death and Dying”, costs 16 bucks on Amazon??

3. Bargaining: I guess I could get it cheaper in paperback.

4. Depression: Thinking about death really bums me out.

5. Acceptance: Well, we’ve all gotta go sometime.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 03:00 PM
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture
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Because I suspect Goatbelt Matt is conditioned to the HaloScan 1,000-character limit on comments, thus resulting in his leaving two back-to-back comments for this post, I thought I’d announce this for everyone’s benefit:

As far as I know, you can type away with abandon in the comment/feedback field on Population Statistic. The restrictions from the old blog are history.

That said, don’t go nuts. And to you comment spammers: You never read any of this.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/26/2004 02:09 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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