Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, December 14, 2021

For those times when you just can’t scare up a wingman or wingwoman, here comes Arriviste Press’ Virtual Wingman.

It occurs to me that getting the email address of the objection of your obsession affection, which is the only way this thing would be effective, might be a chore. If you can get that out of him/her, aren’t you already halfway there anyway?

I almost wish I was currently mooning over someone, just so I could fill out the request form and set things into motion. It’d be fun to watch. If anyone does use this, or know anyone who does, please let me know the results.

By the way, “arriviste” means “upstart” in French. Quite the spunky name for a small publishing house.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/14/2004 11:11:01 PM
Category: Internet, Publishing, Society
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In a continuing effort to make all information on Planet Earth digital, searchable and accessible, Google’s struck an agreement to scan books from the Harvard, Stanford, Michigan and Oxford university libraries, as well as the New York Public Library.

It’s a bold idea, and I’m all for the attempt. What I’m not in favor of is the logical development that would follow from this knowledge transfer: The neglect and/or elimination of the original texts after their information has been extracted. Why? Because ultimately, the nature of nomadic data makes reliance upon Digital Age storage solutions hazardous.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/14/2004 08:34:13 PM
Category: Publishing, Tech
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How bad are the sex scenes in Tom Wolfe’s new novel, “I Am Charlotte Simmons”? Bad enough to win Wolfe the London-based Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

The winning diction:

“Slither slither slither slither went the tongue,” one of his winning sentences begins.

“But the hand that was what she tried to concentrate on, the hand, since it has the entire terrain of her torso to explore and not just the otorhinolaryngological caverns — oh God, it was not just at the border where the flesh of the breast joins the pectoral sheath of the chest — no, the hand was cupping her entire right — Now!”

Otorhinolaryngological? Pectoral sheath of the chest?? Yeesh. If Wolfe really was going for a dry and clinical description of the sex act, as he’s said in interviews, then mission accomplished — and then some. I don’t blame him for not showing up for the award ceremony.

Let’s also look at the runners-up:

… South African Andre Brink, whose novel “Before I Forget” contains the following description of a woman’s vulva:

“(It was) like a large exotic mushroom in the fork of a tree, a little pleasure dome if ever I’ve seen one, where Alph the sacred river ran down to a tideless sea. No, not tideless. Her tides were convulsive, an ebb and flow that could take you very far, far back, before hurling you out, wildly and triumphantly, on a ribbed and windswept beach without end.”

Another writer who only narrowly escaped the prize was Britain’s Nadeem Aslam for his novel “Maps for Lost Lovers,” a tale of life in a Muslim community in an English town.

“His mouth looked for the oiled berry,” one of his raunchiest passages starts.

“The smell of his armpits was on her shoulders — a flower depositing pollen on a hummingbird’s forehead,” another reads.

Am I supposed to be feeling horny right now, or nauseous?

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/14/2004 08:21:05 PM
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Publishing
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Who’s olfactory essence would draw more chicks: Donald Trump’s or Antonio Banderas‘?

Thanks to capitalism, I now have a choice.

Spirit Antonio Banderas promises to take “seduction to a whole new level” by exuding the actor’s personality: excitement, passion and strength. The scent features a variety of notes, from citrus and cinnamon bark to amber and vanilla…

For the sweet smell of success, Donald Trump, the Fragrance, is touted as “power in a bottle.” It doesn’t smell like money, but instead blends notes of citrus, mint, cucumber and black basil, supposedly an extraction of The Donald’s personal assets: confidence, success and character. In its soaring, skyscraper-emblazoned bottle, it may be something to, um, get fired up about.

Both stirring. But I’m actually leaning more toward the new John Varvatos.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/14/2004 07:50:50 PM
Category: Celebrity, Fashion
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Hey Edison, think you’ve got the next jackpot invention in your tiny little skull? Trevor Baylis, inventor and head of route-to-market firm Trevor Baylis Brands PLC, recently took a swing at 10 ideas submitted by CNN viewers/readers, to see if they had possibilities.

Among the suggestions: A voice-activated and talkback stove that would help the visually impaired (which Baylis liked) and a digital shock sensor for recording when parcels got damaged during transit (which he hated).

There’s one notion that really stood out:

Fabrizio Guiraud Hubie from Curitiba, Brazil, believed the fastest and safest way of exiting the atmosphere was to build an enormous elevator, capable of carrying 600 square feet of equipment. It would act as a space dock, complete with hotels and working areas, and would save millions on fuel costs, he said.

Baylis: This idea is somewhat “out in space!” Commendable and imaginative, but, alas, unlikely.

Unlikely, you say? But this idea is already being worked on, with NASA’s support, for a target date of 2019.

Because I’m fervently hoping they’ll dub this space elevator The Umbilicus, and because I just like seeing it, I’m reproducing the appropriate MST3K imagery:
push the button, frank
Maybe I should get in touch with Baylis’ company. I’m always coming up with spiffy product/service ideas.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/14/2004 07:17:20 PM
Category: Science
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