Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, August 29, 2021

eau de SUV
If you’re going to drive a gas-guzzling behemoth, you might as well smell like one: Hummer Fragrance for Men, $52 a pop, coming this fall.

I appreciate the truck-inspired design of the bottle. But in keeping with the spirit of its fuel-inefficient namesake, wouldn’t a more appropriate container be, like, 50 times the size of the one above, while still holding the same 2 ounces of liquid?

I’m sure that blend of thyme, fir, cardamom and sandalwood will have the chicks crawling all over your dashboard. The marketing taglines are coming at me hard and fast:

“Wear Hummer to get a hummer.”
“Hummer. For himmer.”
“Sport your utility.”

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/29/2004 11:54 PM
Category: General
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The Athens Olympiad is over, and as has been the case since the end of the Cold War, the United States won the medal count (not exactly handily, but respectably enough).

U-S-A! U-S-A!

But it’s kind of boring having America come out on top every four years. And the U.S. wasn’t the only federation competing in Athens. So, inspired by Noumenon’s mid-Games speculation, here’s the revised medal totals, adding up the results of all the current European Union member states:

Gold Silver Bronze TOT
EU 88 102 107 297
USA 35 39 29 103
Russia 27 27 38 92
China 32 17 14 63
Australia 17 16 16 49

Clearly, the Euros are the true winners!

Yeah, yeah, I know. If the EU actually had a unified team, it wouldn’t have as many athletes competing, etc. etc. But hey, why claim to be a superstate when you still field separate Olympic teams? Either unify under the EU flag, or else let the U.S. enter 50 teams.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/29/2004 10:27 PM
Category: Sports
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A quick snapshot of me-time magazines I’ll be reading over the next month (so far):

- GQ
- Esquire
- Clear
- Wired

Notice how the September GQ dwarfs the other three. Fall marks the start of the fashion season, so GQ plumps up accordingly. It’s sick to think how much money Conde is making just from that one issue.

Clear was an impulse buy, an extremely pretty mag with a translucent cover wrap and gorgeously slick, heavy bond paper that really shows off the interior color. I’m surprised it’s got such a relatively low cover price ($7); I guess the ad rates allow it.

This is far from the total magazine consumption I’ll be doing this month; it’s more like the appetizer. Between work and play, my eyeballs will glide across too many pages to count. But the first wave is always exciting.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/29/2004 09:20 PM
Category: Publishing
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most amusing
What is it about email spam that inspires creative output? Is it its sheer ubiquity? Its charm, patently false but still containing a grain of enticement?

Even though we’re probably better off not acknowledging it at all, spam has already launched a couple of artsy endeavours. That meme continues with Spamusement!, Steven Frank’s outlet for some poorly-drawn (by his own admission) interpretations of spam comment lines.

Personally, I think his stab at “An iPod is waiting for you” missed the mark. I envision something more like an anthropomorphized iPod, leaning with arm extended on a streetlamp somewhere, impatiently drumming its fingers. I’d draw it, but I’m not much of an artiste; maybe some guy in an iPod costume could pose for me.

With all the filters on my email accounts at home and at work, I don’t get very much spam, so I probably don’t have enough raw material to forge art from it. Others aren’t quite so deprived.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/29/2004 08:58 PM
Category: Internet, iPod
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on which to poop
I just spent the past couple of hours watching “The Best of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog”.

Laughed my ass off, as expected. If anything, this DVD exceeds expectations; just about every Triumph appearance from “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” is on here (although I know it’s not definitively complete). My only gripe is the odd way they arranged the content: For some reason, they present a sort of highlight lineup of seven segments, then shunt the rest of the clips into the Extras menu. It doesn’t make any sense, because, for instance, the first two Westminster Dog Show segments are in the main lineup, but the third one is placed in the “More Poop” tabs. Go figure.

My thorough enjoyment of the disc made up for the hassle in trying to locate a copy. I could have just ordered it online, but I wanted it now, not a week from now. So here’s where I went:

- Target. The closest and most convenient discounter in my neighborhood. They were either sold out, or weren’t carrying it at all. Bummer.

- Walmart. My first-ever visit to Walmart! No, not really; but it certainly felt like it, because I don’t think I’ve stepped inside one more than twice in the last five years (and never visited it very much in my entire lifetime).

How is this possible in today’s America? I’m certainly not averse to dropping cash at one of these monstro-marts (see above). I guess I live in one of the rare patches of land where there is no Walmart location that’s particularly convenient for me; this store is in a part of town that I never normally frequent, and so it’s just not someplace I need to visit. I haven’t felt deprived over it, believe me.

It was about what I expected for a Saturday afternoon: Choked with people pushing their carts full of crap into each other. I thought this location was, at some point, the largest Walmart in Florida. If that ever was the case, it no longer is; but it’s still pretty sprawling. Not sprawling enough to hold a copy of the Triumph DVD, though! Foiled again, and feeling mildly pissed that I wasted my time.

It was late Saturday afternoon by now, so I was screwed: No Triumph for me until today at…

- Best Buy. Jackpot! Found the disc here, discounted even. I should have gone to Best Buy first; the only reason I didn’t was that I had hoped to avoid crossing the bridge into Tampa to get there (it’s the closest one to me, factoring in Pinellas traffic).

Interesting sidenote: The $5.99-bargain DVD display was dominated, in my eye, by about 50 copies of Apt Pupil. I almost bought a copy, motivated by equal doses of curiosity and pity. But I’d never seen the flick (always meant to), and I couldn’t recall the critical acclaim for it, or lack thereof. So I passed.

And then I came home, got about 90 minutes of sun, then fired up the DVD player. Fun-fun!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/29/2004 08:23 PM
Category: Comedy, Movies, TV
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For the record: There is no official color for the mesh on nets used in U.S. Tennis Association play, suprisingly enough.

According to the official 2004 USTA regulations (otherwise known as Friend at Court), various other elements of the game have exacting specifications. This includes the types and makes of ball (revised annually), the types of playing surfaces, and even the strap and band of the net:

(Page 7) The net shall be fully extended so that it completely fills the space between the two net posts and it must be of sufficiently small mesh to ensure that a ball cannot pass through it. The height of the net shall be 3 feet (0.914 m) at the centre, where it shall be held down tightly by a strap. A band shall cover the cord or metal cable and the top of the net. The strap and band shall be completely white.

- The maximum diameter of the cord or metal cable shall be one-third inch (0.8 cm).
- The maximum width of the strap shall be 2 inches (5 cm).
- The band shall be between 2 inches (5 cm) and 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) deep on each side.

So the strap and band must be completely white, and the mesh must be small enough to not allow a ball to pass through. But actual color specifications for the mesh aren’t mentioned, leaving it wide open. I know I’ve seen darker-colored mesh during tournament matches, but don’t recall specific consistency.

Why no codified color for the mesh? It could be due to the USTA’s provisions for advertising:

(Page 38) 1. Advertising is permitted on the net as long as it is placed on the part of the net that is within 3 feet (0.914 m) from the net posts and is produced in such a way that it does not interfere with the vision of the players or the playing conditions…

4. Notwithstanding paragraphs (1), (2) and (3) above, any advertising, marks or material placed on the net or placed at the back and sides of the court, or on the court surface outside the lines may not contain white or yellow or other light colours that may interfere with the vision of the players or the playing conditions.

Ad placement on the mesh obviously would negate any officially-defined color scheme, so I guess the USTA doesn’t bother with it. The prohibition of white or yellow is the extent of it, and since those colors wouldn’t show up very well on a mesh (especially on television), I doubt advertisers would want to use them anyway. I don’t recall seeing any ads on the mesh, but then I rarely watch tennis.

The inspiration for this? My friend JC just called asking for this information, in hopes of settling a bet. I think he lost, or at best pushed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/29/2004 12:33 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Sports
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