Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, May 25, 2021

the game that moves as you play
Nice cover, don’t you think? It makes you want to read all about Electronic Arts-Tiburon and their Orlando digs, where they try not to play videogames all day.

And yet, looking at it gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Why? Just look at it. EA worker bees Laura, Michael, and Joe, all gripping their game controllers with maniacal glee on their faces. Staring directly out from the cover, right at the reader.

My God. It’s like they’re playing me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/25/2005 10:15:17 PM
Category: Business, Videogames
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by the numbers
What do you call a crossword puzzle without words? You call it Sudoku, the Japanese puzzle that’s engrossing Britons by the bushel.

Think I’m kidding? Check the effect:

Bernard Stay, 71, from St Albans in Hertfordshire, has had a more extreme reaction.

“I would really like my life before Su Doku [sic] back!” he pleaded recently on a website.

“I never thought I had an addictive personality, but Su Doku is definitely bad for me. If I don’t complete a puzzle before noon I get suicidally depressed for the rest of the day and even lose sleep fretting on what I’ve missed.”

Geez. Chill out and do a Jumble, dude.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/25/2005 09:54:45 PM
Category: Creative, Pop Culture
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The newly-emergent bipartisan coalition of 14 Senators that averted a filibuster showdown has captured the imagination of Beltway observers. Some think this centrist grouping will serve as a powerful counterbalance to the right-leaning White House, while others feel it’s far too fragile to survive past the next few months.

A lot of factors come into play. A second-term Presidency is, in a lot of ways, a lame duck from day one. Congress tends to assert itself in such an environment. Party loyalty doesn’t disappear, but a longer view takes precedent: Senators and Representatives will be in Washington a lot longer than the current President.

On the other hand, without a specific crisis situation to address, it’s hard to find much to bind these politicos. They might have been emboldened enough to prompt action on the current stem-cell bill, but how many hot-button issues can they tick up before running out of political capital? Beyond that, it’s hard to coalesce around a moderate agenda; extreme views inspires a lot more cohesion among faithful.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/25/2005 09:29:05 PM
Category: Politics
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fresh-caHard to believe that a grapefruit-flavored soda aimed at “discriminating adults” would need a makeover. But that’s what Fresca is getting from parent company Coca Cola.

In addition to a spiffy new can design and “aggressive” ad campaign from agency Campbell Mithun, Fresca’s getting a couple of new flavors: Sparkling Peach Citrus Fresca and Sparkling Black Cherry Fresca. Black cherry I can dig; peach, I’ll pass.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/25/2005 07:45:57 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food
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Here’s something I’ve struggled with of late:

When an unattended (i.e., placed on a coffeetable, etc.) mobile phone rings in your presence, and the owner of said phone is out of earshot but only a short distance away, what are you obligated to do:

1. Answer the phone yourself?

2. Yell out to the phone’s owner that someone’s calling?

3. Pick up the ringing phone and walk/run to deliver it to the owner?

4. Do nothing and let the call (presumably) go to voicemail?

Option No. 1 is the least appealing of all to me; unless you have explicit permission to do so, answering someone else’s cellphone seems like a breach of personal space. Plus, who knows if the incoming call is one that needs/wants to be answered at that moment — everyone has their own screening protocols. So unless it’s your significant other (maybe), that’s out the window.

The other three have varying degrees of acceptability. Yelling might be appreciated, but seems obtrusive; and by the time that yell is acknowledged, the phone’s owner invariably runs back just in time to miss the call. Delivering the phone smacks of doing a chore that’s not yours. The do-nothing might be the best assumption, although some people will get miffed if you guess wrong on that.

Personally, I try to avoid this dilemma by keeping my cellphone obsessively attached to me, usually in my pocket. (That said, I’ve managed to miss a couple of calls over the past two days due to leaving my phone untethered from my body.)

So, I’ll throw it out to you, the readers. Which option is the most appropriate one, and why?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 05/25/2005 08:36:59 AM
Category: Question Time!
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