Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, March 07, 2021

now on video
Like you couldn’t see this coming:

“Burger King: Ranch Song” - .wmv, 3.6MB
Different versions and formats can be found at Who You Talkin’ At?

Since I’m sure this will bring tons of traffic, I’ll take the opportunity to announce the retirement of the Media Mondays category, effective with this post. It really hasn’t created a following, as I’d hoped it would. Plus, I quickly found out that I didn’t have quite as many of those multimedia files to upload as I thought I had. It’s become a bit of a hassle with no payback, so I’m ditching it. I might revive it at some point.

In the meantime:

When my belly starts a-rumblin’
And I’m jonesin’ for a treat
I close my eyes for a big surprise
The Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

I love the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch
The breasts they grow on trees
And streams of bacon ranch dressing
Flow right up to your knees

There’s tumbleweeds of bacon
And cheddar paves the streets
Folks don’t diss front you ’cause you got the juice
There’s a train of ladies comin’ with a nice caboose
Never get in trouble, never need an excuse
The Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

I love the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch
No one tells you to behave
Your wildest fantasies come true
Dallas cheerleaders give you shaves
Red onions make you laugh instead
And french fries grow like weeds
You get to veg all day
All the lotto tickets pay
There’s a king who wants you to have it your way
That’s the Tendercrisp Bacon Cheddar Ranch

Come ‘n get it…

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 09:12:21 PM
Category: Media Mondays | Permalink | Feedback (48)

Years ago, whenever someone would tell me that they never received an email I sent them, I would assume they were lying. It was email, for Christ’s sake, not subject to getting “lost in the mail” or misplaced.

But now, with the crush of spam making ISP-based filters a necessity, so many legitimate messages are being waylaid that email is getting less and less reliable as a communications medium. Those “false positives” for spam are only going to multiply, eventually rendering email unusable.

This dovetails nicely with my recent rant against email. I didn’t have the problem of overly-aggressive filtering in mind when I tossed off that prior post; in fact, what had driven me to distraction that day was the more mundane problem of having URLs break in Mac Mail. But the spirit was dead-on: Time to look past email for latter-day electronic communications.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 08:24:33 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback (3)

“The New Sins” is a new book by former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. It’s structured as an ersatz Bible, with up-to-date mores and insights on modern life.

How do you get such a book into the hands of the general populace? You put free copies into hotel and motel rooms, alongside the standard Gideon Bibles.

Byrne admits he was surprised how easy it was to get the book placed in hotel rooms.

He says, “You just ask them. You don’t ask them to pay for it. You say, ‘We’ll pay for it and we just want you to have this in there, a little thing for your guests; let them know they can take this if they want.”

Who knew getting your tome into circulation was so easy? I kind of hope word of this doesn’t get out, or else rooms across the land will get flooded by copies of vanity-press junk. Then again, most hotels already load up your bedside with piles of catalogues and other direct-marketing debris.

I appreciate the novelty in having the traditional Bible side-by-side with this newer testament, in a time-honored setting. It’s clever positioning, and it can work because it’s all in the context. I do wonder if any guests would complain, though; the types who would curl up with a Bible in a hotel room are the same ones who would uptight enough to feel threatened by something like this.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 07:47:21 PM
Category: Publishing, Pop Culture | Permalink | Feedback

Here’s a good nugget of knowledge from this report on the dying out of indigenous African languages in the face of nationstates using European tongues as unifying agents:

The United Nations estimates half of the world’s 6,000 languages will disappear in less than a century. Roughly a third of those are spoken in Africa and about 200 already have less than 500 speakers. Experts estimate half the world’s people now use one of just eight languages: Chinese, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese and French.

Those eight are the talks to walk for success in the next half-century. Start taking language classes now.

I notice that my alterlanguage, Greek, isn’t on the big list. Nothing like being marginalized on a global level. You’d think being in the European family would help, but a numbers game is tough to beat.

Mozambican linguist Rafael Shambela notes that “a language is a culture”, which is in line with my earlier thoughts on how multiple languages work on an individual level.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 06:25:54 PM
Category: Society | Permalink | Feedback (2)

It was bound to happen sooner or later… Last week, Population Statistic was cited as a source in The News Record, a campus newspaper for the University of Cincinnati.

The topic was Reggie Fowler’s bid to buy the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, which I noted was plagued by several inconsistencies in Fowler’s personal and professional background:

“Fowler, a star linebacker at Wyoming, was actually cut in training camp by the Bengals and also by the Edmonton Eskimos - not the Stampeders. Clarifying the Little League confusion, Fowler said he played with an all-star team at a tournament in California that was called the World Series,” according to www.populationstatistic.com.

Nice, huh? I’ll take any media mention I get (it would have been nice to have that URL hyperlinked, but what can you do).

Except… Those factoids aren’t “according to” this blog at all. They were, in turn, cited by me from the original report from USA Today. The distinction is more acute because the News Record writer goes on to reference USA Today in the very next paragraph.

So, the reportage is a bit sloppy, matching the overall clunkiness of the piece (both in argument and presentation). I guess you can’t expect much more from a college paper; they are in training mode. Everytime I get to wondering about the overall quality of print journalism, a peek at minor leagues gives me great reassurance.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 05:26:10 PM
Category: Bloggin', Football, SportsBiz | Permalink | Feedback (2)

When the NBC series Medium debuted, I predicted that, if successful, it would spawn clairvoyant spinoffs and copycats entitled Large and Small, to complete the range.

Looks like I was only partially right: Defamer notes that the show’s success is inspiring the other networks to go with “large” female psychics.

I think they’re onto something. I know that whenever I’m face-to-face with a woman of the chesty persuasion, she seems to be able to read my thoughts instantly. It’s amazing.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 04:39:48 PM
Category: TV | Permalink | Feedback (2)

off center
If you don’t already, you might want to follow this week’s run of Doonesbury. As indicated by today’s strip and the front-page stuff on the site, Trudeau is doing a tribute to the late Hunter S. Thompson.

Fans of Uncle Duke shouldn’t fret, as the death of his real-life inspiration doesn’t mean the character is going anywhere. But it does appear he’ll be going on a wild ride for a week.

While the left panel above, from today’s strip, serves as a useful visual shorthand for Thompson, it’s actually patterned after the distinctive style of Thompson’s sometime-collaborator Ralph Steadman. Steadman himself imparted his memories of working with HST back in the day.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/07/2021 04:26:43 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Celebrity | Permalink | Feedback (1)