Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, July 05, 2021

It’s a good thing that Nancy Grace is no longer a practicing lawyer, but merely plays one on TV. Because while her shrill kangaroo-court approach is ideal for big boob-tube ratings, it’s not what you’d look for in a prosecutor:

Grace’s disappointment with the Jackson acquittal goes beyond her belief that the pop star is guilty. Though she didn’t actually sit in on the trial, she is convinced that the prosecution proved its case. That’s why she blames the jurors for deciding the case wrong.

“I guess I was naive, thinking justice would remain blind,” she says on-air, on the day of the verdict. She scolds the jury foreman, Paul Rodriguez.

“You got a grown man sleeping with little boys,” she says. “Hell- oooooo !”

“Yes, but — ,” Rodriguez says.

“How do you explain this guy’s sleeping with a 13-year-old boy 365 nights in their underwear?” she asks.

Rodriguez tries to explain the notion of “reasonable doubt,” but Grace dismisses this.

It’s not surprising that she thinks the prosecution did enough in the Jackson case, since she made up her mind about Jackson’s guilt as soon as the accusations were first made. What’s really funny is how obvious it is that she’d be exactly the type who would blow a case like that one: By assuming that everyone can “just tell” that the defendant is guilty, and thus would do a slipshod job of building and arguing the case — thereby leaving enough reasonable doubt to blow it.

That would be bad enough. When it gets to the point of withholding evidence and other questionable ethical behavior, you have to wonder how far Grace would go to find even illusory affirmation for her sense of certainty.

Again, television beats out the courtroom as the perfect medium for Grace’s supposed common-sense pronouncements, because the burden of proof is far less strenuous (or consequential, really). I guess this is a case of the television industry doing society a favor, in taking someone so ethically irresponsible out of the legal system.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/05/2021 10:31:58 PM
Category: TV, Celebrity, Society | Permalink | Feedback

It’s not a real good time to be a Florida A&M University Rattler these days. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the school is in turmoil, with a widening scandal having exposed oceans of slush funds, including at least 41 “ghost employees” who drew paychecks for doing nothing.

Not that I had any exclusive insight, but having dealt with the school for research inquiries over the years, I can’t say these revealations surprised me too much. Among the eleven Florida public universities, FAMU was consistently the biggest pain in the ass, by a long shot. I always got a palpable sense that I was dealing with an especially virulent strain of bureaucracy, even more implacable than usual. It hinted at an extremely insular environment that had a lot of secrets to hide.

Even though the misappropriations are entirely legit, the fact that FAMU is a traditionally black institution makes criticism a delicate matter. It wouldn’t be surprising for some disgruntled party to hint at unfair targeting, motivated by ingrained racism.

To avoid even the hint of that, I propose that Florida’s other public universities submit to the same in-depth audit that FAMU is now undergoing. The lack of immediate cause is irrelevant; because the schools in the state university system are in the same boat organizationally, they should undergo the same scrutiny.

I’ll be surprised to actually see this happen; heavyweights Florida State University and University of Florida alone would do everything they could to block it. And with good reason, because it doesn’t take a genius to figure that every state school has its share of ghosts on the payroll. FAMU’s probably just the tip of the iceberg.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/05/2021 09:34:10 PM
Category: Political, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback

I rarely ever swipe a headline from another source, blog or otherwise. But when Redphi5h at The Dawn of Man nails it so well, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. (I’ll plead the Fifth on how well it does or doesn’t sync with my own Weltanschauung…)

Anyhow, to quell any suspicions of Photoshopping fun, this really is Danica McKellar, showing off her stuff for July’s Stuff Magazine. Something about getting grittier roles.

The timing for a reinvention of Winnie Cooper is about right, since “The Wonder Years” has been off the air for twelve years now. Fans who enjoyed and grew up watching the series should be slobbering all over this spread. I didn’t even like the show much (Kevin struck me as an annoying twerp, and that Jets jacket he wore for several episodes didn’t help), and I’m digging it.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/05/2021 08:32:02 PM
Category: TV, Women | Permalink | Feedback (1)

It should come as no surprise that RSS feeds are catching on as ad-delivery vehicles, with feed providers (like Google and Yahoo!) pushing the space and big clients (like Verizon) jumping aboard. The reason, summed up perfectly:

“Anytime a medium attracts a large audience, people begin to think through and figure out ways to deliver ads to that audience,” said Tim Ruder, vice president of marketing for Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. “R.S.S. won’t be any different in that regard than any other medium.”

So all you ad-avoiding techno-geeks: Ramp up the development of the next online content-delivery system. And make sure it never becomes at all popular (or effective), or else you’ll have to junk that one too.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/05/2021 05:52:31 PM
Category: Internet, Advert./Mktg. | Permalink | Feedback (1)

With the impending move of the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn, plans for a new arena to house the team call for decidedly un-Brooklyn-like skyscrapers to accompany the project, causing consternation among the natives.

“Our fear is that towers breed towers,” said Jon Crow, a graphic designer who was working at a community garden whose organizers have clashed with [project developer Bruce C.] Ratner in the past.

He added: “Office towers, high-rise towers, sports arenas, that’s not a community. Brooklyn doesn’t want to be Manhattan. If we wanted Manhattan, we’d live there.”

Assuming Manhattan would let you in… (Just kidding.)

Given that this is still in the planning stages, there’s no guarantee that Brooklyn’s skyline would undergo this transformation. Still, residents are mobilizing.

It’s odd to think that a sports team can really alter an urban landscape so dramatically. Of course, the usual hype that goes along with expansion/relocation efforts always makes such claims, but grown-ups know that’s so much fluff: The arrival of a major pro team grants a “we’ve arrived” status to a town, but by itself doesn’t make a city world-class. Ironically, Brooklyn leaders have held onto this false hope, buying the theory that the Dodgers‘ departure a half-century ago led to a decline.

I can’t believe they’re really going to rename the team the “Brooklyn Nets”, rather than the more regional (and, by conventional wisdom, marketable) “New York Nets”. Apparently, Ratner is a outer-borough homeboy, so he’s in favor of the former name. And it’s got an old-school feel to it, plus a distinctiveness. I wouldn’t be surprised if they balk at the last minute, though, and go with “New York”. Or maybe take a page from the MLB Angels and go with “New York Nets of Brooklyn (and the Tri-State Area)”.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/05/2021 01:13:35 PM
Category: Basketball, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback

Is there a bigger downer than starting your commute to the office and discovering that your iPod’s battery is totally drained? (This from zero use over the weekend; I knew the battery was getting low, but I didn’t figure I needed to recharge it, especially since I wasn’t going to use it for three days.)

So it was a largely silent ride down to work this morning. Not a promising sign.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 07/05/2021 08:25:09 AM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback