Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, January 21, 2021

desperate pigeon
Given how I mistakenly maligned the magazine only days ago, it’s ironic that my eyes have been glued all evening to this week’s cover of Life.

Obviously, having a full-color photo of “Desperate Housewives” hottie Eva Longoria demonstrating her yoga skills by doing a one-legged pigeon pose helps immensely.

I’d make a crude joke here about her flexibility, but really, I think I’ll let the picture do the talking.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 01/21/2005 08:36pm
Category: Celebrity, Publishing, TV
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As expected, the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe revealed the Saturn moon Titan to be awash in liquid natural gas.

Somewhere, somehow, Halliburton executives are licking their chops, and on the phone persuading Dick Cheney to add Titan to the Axis of Evil.

UPDATE, 1/22/05: Well, I was joking when I suggested corporate interests would push for securing Titan as an abundant source of liquid natural gas. Then I came across this story on how U.S. reliance on LNG imports is increasing, and the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas’ treatise on the energy source being a big part of America’s energy consumption future.

Truth is stranger than comedy. Ready the Halliburtonauts!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 01/21/2005 08:11pm
Category: Political, Science
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If you live in Fremont, California, you can go ahead and cancel your security system alarm service. Not because crime has dropped dramatically in this San Francisco Bay city, but because the Fremont Police Department has decided to stop responding to alarm calls that don’t have accompanying confirmation, a move that would save the strapped department time, resources, and some $600,000 a year from not checking false calls.

The cops are putting the onus on the security companies to report “verified responses”:

As the alarm and/or monitoring company, it will be your responsibility to verify the alarm is actually making notification of a problem or crime in progress. Verified Response can include sound/video of a crime in progress, an eyewitness that can confirm there is a problem, or private security that can go to the scene and verify there is a crime in progress or a crime has been committed.

But really, are the security companies going to bother with this? It’ll increase their operating costs in a big way, which they’ll have to pass on to their customers. Insurance incentives will make it hard for people and businesses to drop their alarm systems altogether, but at some point, it’ll make more sense to just put in a dummy alarm system that’s designed to just make noise without the monitoring.

I can’t help but think that this is yet another step toward the establishment of private security services as clearinghouses for police response:

In other words, the implication is that the cops will respond more quickly-or even will respond, period-when an authorized security firm makes the call. The further implication is that such a call is given greater weight than one from Mr. Joe Average, who doesn’t have a security company behind him. I’ve always wondered if this would start a trend, where overworked and understaffed police departments would answer calls only made via security firms.

So far, this is largely confined to California (although the Fremont Police cite similar policies instituted in Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas), but I can see it spreading. It’s cooking up a dangerous situation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 01/21/2005 07:59pm
Category: Political, Society
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