Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Today, my parent company had their periodic book sale. I partook, naturally; couldn’t pass up those deep discounts, and it didn’t hurt that the money went to charity.

It was an interesting experience. Usually, I never find more than three or four items to buy at one of these sales. This time, within the first five minutes when I arrived, I scooped up five things to buy, leading me to believe that I was going to load up on a ton of stuff. That was delusional: I found only one other book in the next half-hour I spent browsing. But it was worthwhile, nonetheless.

Here’s what I bought. Not much in the way of commentary, since I haven’t read or listened to any of them yet:

- “Just Add Buddha: Quick Buddhist Solutions to Hellish Bosses, Traffic Jams, Stubborn Spouses, & Other Annoyances of Everyday Life” by Franz Metcalf. It appealed to me because of the miniature book design. I also thought it would make a nice gift for a friend who dabbles in Buddhism.

- “The Four-Minute Mile” by Roger Bannister. The definitive sports moment, written by the guy who achieved it. This occurred to me as a nice gift for the same person who might like the above-mentioned Buddhist book. The thing is, I think I might like it too; so I’ll read a bit of it, and decide whether or not I want to keep it for myself.

- “North Dallas Forty” by Peter Gent. A classic in the sports lit genre if there ever was one. If only there were more peers to join it. I’ve seen the movie a few times, so I’m looking forward to reading the source material.

- “Gotham Tragic” by Kurt Wenzel. Don’t know anything about this one. But I’m a sucker for a story that takes place in the Manhattan glitterati culture.

- “Dog-Eared: Mutts 9″ by Patrick McDonnell. I haven’t read much of Mutts, but from what I’ve seen, I like it. The artwork, in particular, is very reminiscent of the classic Krazy Kat. So I’m particularly looking forward to reading this one.

I also picked up a couple of CDs. I’ve lucked out in the past at these sales on music and movies, but not so much this time:

- Lovewhip: “Bouncehall”. I listened to the first couple of tracks tonight… Fair, but nothing special. Since I’m more into techno and trance music of late, I can’t see getting into this disc.

- House of Flying Daggers Soundtrack. I’m looking forward to the movie, when it rolls into Tampa Bay. The soundtrack, from what little I’ve heard of it so far, sounds good. Authentic Chinese music, very mood-enhancing.

Obviously, I’ve got enough material to engage me for a while.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/01/2021 11:28:45 PM
Category: Movies, Publishing
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A restaurant that serves nothing but name-brand cereal? Yep. Seemingly just the ticket for this Peter-Pan society we live in.

So what’s the business plan?

Co-founders David Roth and Rick Bacher opened the first Cereality, a 200-square-foot kiosk in Arizona State University’s student union, last year. Besides the 1,500-square-foot Philadelphia cafe in the middle of Penn’s retail district, the Boulder, Colo.-based company wants to open more than a dozen Cerealities next year on campuses, hospital lobbies, airports and office buildings.

“We don’t see this as (solely) a college concept, we see this as being relevant to the 95% of the American public that eats cereal,” Roth said. If college students — “the most cynical market we can go after” — like it, Roth’s confident that office workers and travelers will like it too.

News flash, boys: That “cynical market” also consumes ungodly amounts of Pabst Blue Ribbon every week. I wouldn’t bet the rent on the consumer sensibilities of that crowd.

Then again, maybe there’s something useful to be gained from this cereal insanity:

Between bites of hot oatmeal with cranberries and almonds, Penn junior Alpha Mengistu, 20, said Cereality offered more than a quick carb- and sugar-load.

“I think this would be a good place for a date,” she said. “You could learn a lot about a person by what cereal they choose.”

Hmmm… It’s as good an indicator as I’ve ever seen. Like, I don’t know if I could ever date a girl who prefers Peanut Butter Crunch. But one who digs Cookie Crisp? Come home to poppa, babe!

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/01/2021 08:41:09 PM
Category: Food, Society
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Between interviews of publishing bigwigs and discovery of oldschool coin-op videogames, you’d think I didn’t have a real job.

But I do. And the proof is online, in the form of this year’s Florida CEO Trends issue of Florida Trend. The site requires free registration, which, of course, you’re cool with. You could be even cooler and run out to the newsstand and buy one.

Rather nice cover this year, I think. All credit goes to my art director. Aside from his usual sterling stylistic job throughout, he also made sure to keep alive his picture-within-a-picture-ad-infinitum motif, for the fifth year running. Believe me, it’s trickier than it looks.

The coverboy apparently bears enough resemblance to President Bush to draw comments about whether we were kicking off the Four More Years tour with this cover. I don’t quite see it myself. And if I were to put a Bush on my cover, I’d have to go with the Gov.

One more year down. Planning and strategizing for next year will begin all too soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/01/2021 07:20:08 PM
Category: Publishing
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