Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 25, 2021

So I was watching “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, and—

No, wait, that’s not right. For one thing, I wasn’t home. For another, I haven’t watched “SNL” in close to ten years, so even if I was home, I wouldn’t have tuned in.

So I wouldn’t have known about Ashlee Simpson’s being outed on her lip-syncing when it happened. Fortunately, today’s buzz is filling me in nicely, including her dad/manager’s acid reflux defense.

Frankly, I don’t see much of a loss here. For one, the use of guide vocals for live performances, during which the artists typically do breath-defying choreography and acrobatics, should simply be assumed by now. For another, it’s not like Ashlee was ever fated to be anything more than a second banana to her big sister; I think the hoe-down dance pretty much cemented that.

Judge for yourself. Clip available for a limited time only, so don’t dawdle.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 11:16pm
Category: Celebrity, TV
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Got a kid that’s flunking out of school? If you’re in the vicinity of Mystic, Connecticut, the Mystic Aquarium and Institute for Exploration has a program that gives students an alternative learning environment, while they mess with the fishes.

Although it’s not the intent, I’m guessing this program is grooming several budding marine biology majors. Which brings to mind my alma mater, which is known for its marine science program.

More to the point, it reminds me of the comically high attrition rate that Eckerd’s marine science program has. When I was attending, something like a third of incoming freshmen came to the school to study dolphins and other cute aquatic life. Then, they’d get a first-semester dose of daily four-hour lab sessions in microbiology and the like. By the end of the year, the chaffe had been separated from the wheat, and bunches of formerly aspiring Jacques Cousteaus had turned their interests to economics or psychology. An early lesson in Darwinian principle.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 10:13pm
Category: College Years, Science, Society
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practically chicken
Has it really been 25 years since Berkeley Breathed unleashed his strip “Bloom County” on the world?

Well… The article notes that the strip started being carried in 1981. I don’t have a calculator on hand, but my noggin’ says that 2004 minus 1981 equals… not 25.

I’m assuming the “OPUS: 25 Years of His Sunday Best” compilation includes material from a couple of years before Breathed got his syndication deal. Otherwise, someone’s jumping the gun.

Regardless, the strip was ahead of its time, in some odd ways:

Consider: The strip’s oddball cast of characters, who skipped between reality and the surreal, foreshadowed today’s mainstream mix of fiction and truth, even down to their 1989 exit. Prophetically, the original comic strip ended when Trump, the future star of NBC reality show The Apprentice, buys the comic strip and tells Bloom County’s cast: “You’re fired.”

I was a little too young to enjoy “Bloom County” the first time around. I’ve read some of it since, and like it — but not love it. If anything, it’s the kind of strip I like more on a visual level: I think the artwork was wickedly great. The writing was sharp, but tended to meander, especially over the last few years of the run.

My paper, luckily, carries the current incarnation, “Opus”. It’s decent enough, and I’ll enjoy it for as long as it lasts (i.e., as long as Breathed is interested enough to keep doing it).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 09:43pm
Category: Pop Culture, Publishing
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Toerings on older women. Older as in late 40s and up.

Sorry, it just doesn’t sit right with me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 09:12pm
Category: Fashion, Women
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So, it’s been only a day since I’ve signed up with BlogExplosion. I’m happy to report that my traffic has juiced up nicely already. No, not all the visitors are staying for long, nor even necessarily reading these scribblings.

But these two definitely did, so just for that, it’s been worth it (it’s not like I can resist a title like “Nite Owl”, anyway). Bonus is that they’re both WP-powered sites — handy for comparative purposes.

I have to say, though, that the early favorite in my BlogExplosion wandering has got to be World of Why?. It’s a comic-strip blog, by one Nick James out of Denmark. It’ll be added to the blogroll shortly.

If nothing else, check out the “Metaphorical Breakups” post.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 08:15pm
Category: Bloggin', Creative
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So what’s it like to live in a state that’s dead-even split between Bush and Kerry, with a week to go?

I’m regularly coming home to at least two, sometimes three, political telephone pitches on my answering machine. From Democrats, Republicans, and even the occasional Reform/Nader plea.

I wonder: If I change the outgoing message to tell them that I’ve already submitted my absentee ballot early (which I haven’t, but actually will in the next couple of days), would that cut down on the poli-spam? Probably not.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 08:00pm
Category: Florida Livin', Politics
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Earlier this afternoon, I took a stroll to a nearby branch of my bank. (I love working in a real, pedestrian-friendly downtown.)

As I approached the steps to McNulty Station, where the branch is located, I noticed a mostly burnt-up cigarrette butt near the steps, on the ground. Nothing particularly unusual about it, other than it wasn’t stubbed out and mashed into the ground. It also looked like it was freshly dropped.

Anyway, I went inside, took my 2 minutes at the ATM machine, and turned around to leave. A few steps in front of me was this guy, in kinda dirty jeans and a tshirt, also exiting.

As I hit the door, I saw this guy go down the steps, bend down, and then pick up that cigarrette butt. He checked it out for a second, then put it to his lips.

I thought, nice.

He then went on his way, into a waiting car, which then drove off.

I figured at first this was a homeless guy, since it wouldn’t be too out of character for a homeless guy to pick up a used smoke. But when he got into the car, I thought of an alternate explanation: He needed to go into the bank, but couldn’t take his cigarrette with him. So he just put it on the ground for safe keeping, hoping it wouldn’t get stepped on or otherwise lost. Then the dirty bastard put the thing right back into his mouth.

He’s lucky. I thought about stomping it on the way inside.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/25/2004 05:51pm
Category: Florida Livin'
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