Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, May 21, 2021

Interesting yin and yang dynamic in recent news coverage of Tampa’s Old Seminole Heights area:

- On Thursday, the impending arrival of a Starbucks, in a neighborhood that had opposed move-in efforts by Wal-Mart and other big-corporate storefronts, inspired some introspection. It portrayed a quirky nook of Tampa, where an old guard is grudgingly giving way to new transplants with slightly different ideas of what makes a friendly neighborhood.

- Today, on a decidedly heavier note, a series of lurid homophobic murders by former resident Steven Lorenzo casts Seminole Heights in a dark light. The paper trail of Lorenzo’s abductions and killings reminds us of all the monster-next-door paranoia most of us have with regards to our neighbors; you really never know what’s going on behind closed doors.

(By the way, Seminole Heights resident A Living Hominid blogs some eyewitness photos and musings about the crime scene, years after the fact.)

I can’t say either story about the ‘hood inspires me to visit. I’m sure I’ve been through there a few times, and maybe even visited former friends and acquaintences there; but I don’t think I currently know anyone living there. Just like any other part of the world, there are good parts and bad parts. Going through life, you learn to navigate appropriately.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/21/2005 07:46:20 PM
Category: Florida Livin'
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No doubt giving rabid inspiration to thousands of bloggers and Flash-tinkerers, JibJab parlayed its 2004 Election-time animated Web short “This Land” into a big-time advertising deal with Anheuser-Busch to produce several viral Web ads that may appear on TV.

In a shrewd transitional kickoff to the campaign, the first spot features the established Bud pitchlizards Frankie and Louie. I’m sure that link is being emailed around the globe at a rapid pace right now — as is the intent.

I think it’s a given that JibJab should be allowed to apply their treatment to a revival of the immortal Bud Bowl spots. Online-only would be fine, although considering how weak this past year’s Super Bowl ads were, Bud could do a lot worse than put such a potentially innovative re-imagining into the game’s commercial rotation.

Companies are looking more and more to professionally-crafted viral campaigns to break through the ad clutter. JibJab’s experience here could make or break this emerging ad channel. I think it’s going to work fantastically, especially considering Busch’s target in this instance: Young drinkers who are generally glued to the Web.

I have a feeling The Neistat Brothers are totally bummed that their silly “iPod’s Dirty Secret” stunt from two years ago didn’t yield a similar payday. Tough luck, suckers; learn from those who know how to play this game.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/21/2005 03:27:50 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet
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pretty inYesterday, with my energy level flagging and a whole afternoon of officework in front of me, I strolled over to the neighborhood grocery store to find a can of Lil’ Jon’s Crunk!!! Energy Drink. (I’ve never had it, but I’ve heard good things.)

Wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t have any Crunk!!!. But they did have plenty of Pink, the Diet Energy Drink in stock. The can was very eyecatching — looks like a latter-day post-modern redesign of TaB.

Since so many of these drinks are rolling out with popstar connections — Lil Jon’s Crunk!!!, Nelly’s (real-life) Pimp Juice, Ice-T’s Liquid Ice — I think Pink needs to enlist slightly-scary singer Pink as celebrity endorser. Better her than “Euro-diva” Ilona

Anyway, I didn’t buy any Pink. Wayyyyy too girly-looking. I opted for some Sugar-Free Red Bull instead. But maybe I’ll go back next week and get a can of Pink, and then locate a can of TaB (not hard to do — the company cafeteria regularly stocks that golden oldie), and set them on my desk as a unique decoration. Hell, better than actually drinking them…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/21/2005 02:42:20 PM
Category: Food, Pop Culture
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starring wacky chet from emergency!
Need any more proof that Hollywood has run out of original ideas? Parts: The Clonus Horror, a 1970s schlockfest perfectly skewered by “Mystery Science Theater 3000″, is coming back hard again this July as The Island.

I can guarantee you this remake wouldn’t exist without the MST3K exposure. I wonder if I have that episode on tape; it’s worth a re-viewing. “Parts: The Visible Panty Line Horror!”

Island will be a big-budget spectacle, directed by big-budget spectacle specialist Michael Bay. Tellingly, this will be the first Bay-directed film not backed by producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Just a thought: When you’re using MST3K source material as your inspiration, and your longtime moneymaking partner declines to participate… it’s probably a bad omen.

I’m crossing my fingers on a Peter Graves cameo. Not as much so for a Tim Donnelly appearance (that Ewan McGregor is taking over his role should be enough).

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 05/21/2005 01:53:24 PM
Category: Movies
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