Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, September 04, 2021

I’m feeling ripped off. Having resolved to stay in tonight due to the expected rotten weather ahead of Hurricane Frances, I haven’t left the house all night. I figured it would be non-stop rain and high winds anyway.

As of this writing, it’s ridiculously calm outside. No rain, and the gusting winds from earlier have settled down. Absolutely no impediment to spending a night on the town.

So I cooped myself up for no reason. Damned hurricane.

Yes, I know Frances has landed in Vero and will bring its mess here in the next day. But for the moment, it’s turned out to be as much of a no-show here as Charley was. Hopefully, the comparison won’t end there, as far as Tampa Bay is concerned.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 11:24:07 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Weather
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A few days back, I marvelled at the size of the current issue of GQ. Turns out the 432-page count isn’t even the biggest perfect-bound periodical in Conde Nast’s September roster. This month’s Vogue clocks in at 832 pages, with enough ads to make your consumerist arteries clog:

More than half - much more - of those 832 pages are ads. A Reuters story says the total is 647. I counted - twice - and, by my standards, got 599. It can be hard to tell the stories and photo spreads from the ads, so maybe I got a little confused. Or maybe Vogue counts as ads its fawning profiles of the new breed of models, three top designers and the making of Nicole Kidman’s Chanel No. 5 commercial.

Yes, the line between editorial and advertising tends to blur — badly — in fashion mags. Buyer beware. At least GQ has some content that’s vendor-neutral, including fiction and opinion columns.

Anyone who says that magazines are dying old-media dinosaurs need only do a few arm-curls with these fashion-season monsters. Printing money, indeed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 10:13:10 PM
Category: Publishing
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It’s hard to believe you’d need to improve upon urine. But that’s what Dyna-Tek Industries, a Kansas-based biotech company, does with Surine, a synthetic urine that’s in high demand among drug-testing research circles.

Who knew there was such a big demand for the yellow stuff?

Researchers, drug-testing labs and other institutions buy thousands of gallons of the real stuff, mostly to calibrate the equipment used to test regular urine samples for drugs or other substances. Researchers periodically check the accuracy of their equipment by introducing samples that have been intentionally spiked with chemicals.

But human urine has its limitations.

It’s unstable, decaying rapidly if not kept refrigerated and must be frozen when shipped. It can smell, it foams and donors must be screened carefully for drug use or disease. Also, different body chemistry guarantees that no two people’s urine is exactly alike, an irritation for researchers who rely on consistency…

“I think in the next few years, synthetic urine will replace human urine” in laboratories, said Fred Klaus, purchasing manager for Redwood Toxicology, a Santa Rosa, Calif., drug testing company that tests about 30,000 urine samples a day and is thinking about testing Surine. “If you end up with something like Surine that’s very stable and easy to maintain, you’re going to go to that because that’s one of your savers.”

I guess Dyna-Tek has created the long-sought-after holy golden grail in urinary research.

I wonder who’s donating all these gallons of piss. You see calls for blood donation drives all the time, but never urine donations. Shoot, I’d bet you could persuade more people to donate their piss than their blood. You could even find some beer sponsorship for it, which would serve the dual purpose of priming the pumps.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 10:00:31 PM
Category: Tech
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labor day
I’ve already said that, given Hurricane Frances’ location on the opposite coast, I don’t much care about it. Of course, it will make it’s way across Florida to me, in tropical storm-form, so as things now stand (and that can change), it will affect me somewhat.

The latest status has Frances stalling off the Atlantic coast, with its massive outer bands still lashing the coast and downing power lines, along with other headaches. I can’t figure out why it’s slowing down, and again, I wouldn’t be surprised if it took an unexpected veer to the north or south (due to another unforseen opposing front, as with Charley). But for now, it’s supposed to make landfall sometime tonight, and come through the state by tomorrow afternoon.

My local weather has shown signs of something on its way. It’s been extra-windy every since yesterday afternoon, although not tremendously so. It was sunny as usual this morning, to the point where I was going to lay out and tan for an hour (I got caught up in household chores instead, but others were out by the pool). The afternoon did bring beaucoup cloud cover that periodically made the sky dark. Rain showers have come through, but again, nothing particularly out of the ordinary.

I’m sure things will get worse, but for now, it’s barely far from business as usual. It’s impacting me in terms of abandoning plans to go out tonight; I figured as much heading into the weekend, and had my fun last night (mainly Cafe Alma, unexpectedly on fire).

Officially, the airports are closing, I’ve heard a rumor of power going out elsewhere in Pinellas (I haven’t experienced it), and I’m in an area that’s under voluntary evacuation. That’s voluntary, not mandatory, which is a crucial difference; it means I ain’t moving, and there’s no compelling reason to do so. I have taken all the stuff off my patio just in case, but otherwise, I’m not making any special preparations for what will likely be nothing more than one of the many kick-ass rainstorms we get here.

So, that’s the Frances report from Tampa Bay. It’s obviously putting a damper on the Labor Day weekend, but if the worst of it ends up with me doing nothing but getting some extra sack time, all the better.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 07:30:39 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Weather
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shades of sushi
Don’t you hate it when you go out someplace for sushi, and they have the temerity to offer you those cheapy break-them-apart chopsticks? You are way too cool to fool with those, dude.

What you need is a pair of glasses with detachable arms, that can be used as food utensils on the go. You can get them from designer Ralph Anderl’s Ic! Berlin.

Some advice: Get yourself a clean-wipe while you’re at lunch, so you can clean these suckers off when you’re done. Otherwise, you’ll be walking around with the stench of fish oil and wasabi behind your ears. And that’s so not cool, dude.

(Via Ookii Ne.com)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 06:59:40 PM
Category: General
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Group Hug is a odd little corner of the Web. It’s a place to post anonymous (completely anonymous, according to the site’s operators) confessions to behavior that ranges from questionable to disturbing.

Here’s a random sampling from the current front page:

I hope he knows that I’m not laughing at his kinky fantasies. I don’t think they’re too weird for me. I’m only laughing to distract myself from how much I want to fuck him, and carry out those fantasies

i suck my thumb when i am tired and when i masterbate.

when i masterbate i always think about women.

i would love to kiss a lovely looking woman, or a very clean mouthed man.

my husband has rotten breath, he is lovely, but his smell is not sexy and i love to kiss

A guy who works near me has a curly mullet, a dorky programmers-goatee and thick, ugly nerd glasses. He’s short and fat and dresses in knitted sweater vests. He also has a horrible whiny, nasal voice. He waddles when he walks. He complains constantly and about everything. He bitches about everyone behind their backs like a little girl.

I saw photos of his wife and kids in his office. I cannot believe that this guy is married and I’m desperately single. There is no justice in the world

I guess this is especially good for us non-Catholics. And for us online voyeurs…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 02:40:53 PM
Category: Internet
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Well, last night’s deadline for my trackback-me-a-joke-for-a-Gmail-invitation contest came and went, with nary a bite.

I’m prepared to declare this the biggest flop since Ishtar.

Actually, I learned a good lesson about supply and demand — namely, that when several thousand others are giving away Gmail invitations, mostly with no strings attached, the odds are long on getting anyone to actually work for it (if you consider telling a joke to be “work”). When it’s available for free elsewhere, there’s little incentive. I was hoping the chance to show off your sense of humor would be incentive enough, but obviously not.

Probably my bigger miscalculation was to make this offer at the same time that Google gave every other Gmail account holder extra invites to hand out. The market is flooded, obviously.

Also consider that, by now, just about everyone who’s ever wanted a Gmail address has gotten one and doesn’t need another. I know that’s the case among my friends and colleagues. At this point, I don’t expect to get rid of the invitations I have remaining.

Oh well. I might revive this contest in a couple of months, when the supply of invitations has dwindled (assuming Google doesn’t throw some more invitations out there). Until then, don’t bother asking for one; if I feel like it, I’ll dole them out without warning.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/04/2021 02:07:40 PM
Category: Internet
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