Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, July 10, 2021

My favorite punchline regarding Intelligent Design (which is so much short-sighted junk) is that it’s easily dashed by looking at how ill-fitting the human body is.

Take my bod, for instance. My spine is an almost-constant symphony of pain; I have hair growing just about everywhere except where it’s supposed to; and I get hangnails — which, if you think about it, goes completely against the notion of a perfectly-calibrated organic design.

So we need only look in the mirror to eliminate ID. And if our own eyes aren’t enough proof, David Barash’s citing of the too-narrow birth canal and awkward placement of the prostrate gland, among other human anatomical oddities, should do the job.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/10/2021 10:39:51 PM
Category: Society | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Tampa’s South Howard, or SoHo, district has a lot going for it. Maybe too much, as rising land values are making the neighborhood a prime target for new urban condo development, perhaps kicking off the end of the SoHo as we know it.

The parallels to Ybor City are obvious: Young hipsters and creative types move in, rejuvinate a former dead zone, then are appalled as the soulless money interests rush in afterward to push them out. Hey, pioneers are easily identifiable by the arrows sticking out of their backs; the smart money always waits it out while someone else deals with the preliminaries. It sucks getting priced out of what used to be your home turf, but it’s hard to argue with being a victim of your own success.

Personally, I don’t think Ybor lost its soul when it evolved into a bar district; and I don’t think SoHo will necessarily go down the tubes if many of the existing establishments get pushed out. There’s more than one standard of livability, and whatever comes of the proposed projects in this south Tampa enclave (not that all of them will actually happen), current residents can find a way to adapt.

Naturally, I’d like to hear what SoHo’s resident party gadfly thinks of all this.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/10/2021 03:55:53 PM
Category: Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback

Space travel, quantum computing, UFO confirmation — all this is possible if teleportation, already accomplished on an atomic and particle level, can be applied to large objects and living things.

Living things — including humans, obviously — will be the tricky part:

Teleporting a person would require a machine that isolates, appraises, and keeps track of over a trillion trillion atoms that constitute the human body, then sends that data to another locale for reassembly—and hopefully without mussing up your physical and mental makeup.

“One thing is certain: if that impossible leap turns out to be merely difficult—a question of simply overcoming technical challenges—it will someday be accomplished,” [author David] Darling predicts.

In this regard, Darling writes that the quantum computer “is the joker in the deck, the factor that changes the rules of what is and isn’t possible.”

Reminds me of the argument Bones McCoy used for his teleporter phobia. The process in the “Star Trek” universe includes a tiny but measurable amount of time where a teleported object, in the midst of reformation, effectively does not exist. I’d guess that would be where potential problems could crop up.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/10/2021 02:27:42 PM
Category: Science | Permalink | Feedback (1)

country-reggae man
Delayed for a decade due to recording-label shenanigans, Willie Nelson’s reggae album, “Countryman”, is about to drop. It’ll include an original reggae composition from Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, which Nelson performs as a duet with Toots Hibbert from Toots and the Maytals.

Reggae from one of country music’s grandmasters? Nelson doesn’t feel it’s so much of a stretch:

That Nelson’s country songs stand up so well to reggae’s offbeat syncopation and upstroke guitar strums is a testament to their durability. Nelson said he recorded them about 10 years ago in Los Angeles with Jamaican musicians, including some from the late reggae star Peter Tosh’s band.

“The musicians told me that reggae was invented really by listening to country music coming from the United States. They put their own rhythms to those tunes,” he said.

And of course, you can’t put out a reggae recording without a pinch of the herb:

While the music on “Countryman” might raise the eyebrows of country purists, so will the cover. With green marijuana leaves on a red and yellow background, the cover art makes the CD look like an oversized pack of rolling papers.

The marijuana imagery reflects Jamaican culture, where the herb is a leading cash crop and part of religious rites, but it also reflects Nelson’s fondness for pot smoking.

Universal Music Group Nashville is substituting palm trees for the marijuana leaves on CDs sold at the retail chain Wal-Mart, a huge outlet for country music that’s also sensitive about lyrics and packaging.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 07/10/2021 12:35:33 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Creative | Permalink | Feedback (1)