Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, February 24, 2021

I never was able to get tickets to this past Tuesday’s engagement at Poynter Institute with New York Times chief Arthur Sulzberger. It’s just as well, as I wound up burning a little midnight oil at the office that night (if you can consider 8PM to be midnight-oil time).

Fortunately, Poynter’s providing a Flash-powered collection of video clips from Sulzberger’s Q&A session. And Robert Trigaux offers a good writeup, with lots of background info.

Check out the roster of NYT-owned Florida newspapers:

In addition to the New York Times, Sulzberger’s company owns the Boston Globe and International Herald Tribune and eight TV stations. And it obviously likes the growth prospects in Florida, since it owns the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the Ledger in Lakeland, the Gainesville Sun and the Star-Banner in Ocala. Of its 15 regional newspapers, all but two are in the Southeast.

Notice that the St. Petersburg Times isn’t on that list. Maybe that will kill off the rumors that the St. Pete paper is owned by the Grey Lady — rumors so widespread that the publisher of one cut-rate freebie put his foot in his mouth a couple of weeks ago by making that claim in an editorial.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/24/2005 10:39:59 PM
Category: Media | Permalink | Feedback

Michael Frayn’s “Copenhagen” is now playing at Gorilla Theatre in Tampa.

I’m there.

I find this story so compelling that I bought the book of the stage script (which I loved), and watched the PBS movie production (which I found only so-so). I think a small, intimate space like the Gorilla’s stage would be ideal for an intensely character-driven play.

I’m sure most people wouldn’t imagine a years-long interaction between Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Bohr’s wife Margrethe, centering around discussions on quantum physics, to be the stuff of dramatic captivation. Throw in intrigue with the Nazi atomic bomb program and complex interpersonal relationships, though, and you’ve got one of the best-crafted plays I’ve ever had to pleasure to take in.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/24/2005 10:12:49 PM
Category: Media, Science, History | Permalink | Feedback (1)

Because pretty much every single person I spoke with today was agog over this story of a 6-foot African rock python appearing in a St. Petersburg toilet, I’m linking to it.

Aside from taking it as a reminder to always leave the lid down — which I do anyway, a combination of growing up with a housepet and feng-shui luck/chi loss-prevention practice — I didn’t find it particularly interesting.

I am, however, waiting for the rampant publicity to inspire some entrepreneur to come out with a special toilet-protection system that guards your exposed ass from the wayward critter that finds its way up the pipes.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/24/2005 09:23:19 PM
Category: Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback

Are bloggers the new-media equivalents of rappers?

Rap music and blogging are populist, low-cost-of-entry communication forms that reward self-obsessed types who love writing in first person. Maybe that’s why both won so many converts so quickly. If you want to become MC I’m Good at Rapping, all you have to do is rustle up a microphone and a sampler. If you want to blog as AngryVeganCatholicGOPMom, bring a computer, an Internet connection, a working knowledge of Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V, and a whole lot of spare time.

Although bloggers and rappers are free to write about whatever they damn well please, they mostly talk to each other and about each other. That’s partly because it’s so easy to communicate with your fellow working professionals. If Nas disses you for not having a moustache, it’s easy enough to come right back and tell him you slept with the mother of his child. When Markos from Daily Kos offhandedly admits that he doesn’t read many books, Little Green Footballs steps up to hammer the softball.

Oh, I can sense all the tired “Levin-whistling-past-the-graveyard” rebuttals forming right now, probably in tandem with condemnation of NYT executive editor Bill Keller’s characterization of blogs as “one man circle jerks”.

Never mind that both men are, essentially, right in their assessments: Most bloggers are very much self-involved, and that comes through in their output. Not that there’s any one definition of blogging, but the single-person production aspect of most blogs is what appeals to both bloggers and readers in the first place. No sense in getting huffy because of the messenger (i.e., mainstream media) or the tone.

If this rap theorum holds true, I’m cornering the market on the most-deffest MC handle on the World Wide Wizzie right now: Call me Big Poppin’ Stat-Stat. For, um, shizzle.

I would have crafted some dope rhymin’ for this, but Saint Nate’s a step ahead of me.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/24/2005 09:08:45 PM
Category: Bloggin', Pop Culture, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

We’ve all heard about people getting fired for blogging (even working at Google doesn’t protect you).

Losing a job is small potatoes compared to the dilemma of Alex Crionas. Because he set up a website to help locate a kidney donor for himself, he’s been denied a much-needed transplant by kidney-donor center LifeLink.

I guess LifeLink automatically sees such a website as a front for organ-trafficking activity. And the kicker: Alex wasn’t even blogging on his site. He has, however, set up a blog since then.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/24/2005 08:52:57 PM
Category: Internet, Society | Permalink | Feedback

The near-permanent organizational rift between the worldwide Anglican Church and its American and Canadian branches over homosexuality (the North American side is actually the liberal one, for once) is, I’m sure, of grave importance to those faithful.

Personally, I’m just getting a kick out of the heavy peppering of the term “primate” in the article. Like:

“In the meantime, we ask our fellow primates to use their best influence to persuade their brothers and sisters to exercise a moratorium on public rites of blessing for same-sex unions and on the consecration of any bishop living in a sexual relationship outside Christian marriage.”

I’m just picturing a bunch of monkeys, milling about and debating same-sex marriage.

Of course, there’s more than one definition of “primate”:

The term “primate” means senior archbishop or presiding bishop of a province in the Anglican Communion. In some provinces the primate is also called Archbishop and/or Metropolitan, while in others the term Presiding Bishop — or as in Scotland, Primus — is preferred. In some provinces the term is translated to their own language, such as Obispo Primado in the Province of the Southern Cone (South America).

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/24/2005 07:28:54 PM
Category: Society | Permalink | Feedback