Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, September 07, 2021

Since no one could detect what I did to this page, I’m revealing it myself. As the illustration above should tell you, I simply trimmed several pixels off that big ol’ “Population Statistic” header image.

I really should have made an animated GIF image out of the before-and-after versions of the header. But I don’t think the crappy image manipulation software I have here at home can swing it, and I’d have to wait until tomorrow otherwise. Maybe I will replace it then; but until then, squint!

It was enlightening to see how many people couldn’t tell. That’s not an indictment at all; but it does tell me that I probably fixate on these little stylistic things more than most people do.

As for the why… Basic reason is that I always felt the header was too damned big. Since I often access this site on my home notebook, which has a fairly small screen size, it always seemed glaring to me. A secondary reason has to do with generally clearing space on this index page, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

I guess that MP3 goes unclaimed. I’ll see if I can come up with another mini-contest soon.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/07/2021 10:38pm
Category: Bloggin'
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The hype started last week, and is now fulfilled: Apple, Motorola and Cingular debuted the ROKR, styled after the popular RAZR phone, to venture into the phone-music player hybrid market.

The ROKR isn’t quite the iPod-killer I envisioned. It’ll hold only a hundred songs, and is definitely configured as more phone than player.

Along with the phone, Apple also debuted a new piece of shiny iPod-ness: iPod Nano, a credit-card sized version of the device in 2G and 4G flavors.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/07/2021 10:09pm
Category: Tech, iPod
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drinking in circlesI don’t know much about wine, other than that I don’t like it boxed.

I’m sure there’s a circle of Hell reserved for those wine-boxers. There must be, because Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Randall Grahm has concocted levels of suffering for every other sinner in the wine world:

The first cantos of Grahm’s parody, Da Vino Commedia by Al Dente Allegory, are out now in his newsletter. In them, the pilgrim is Grahm’s alter ego, a forlorn winemaker who confesses in midlife that “I have loved multitudinous grapes o’erwell,” but admits that Rhone grapes “have been berry, berry good to me.” He scales the heights of pinot noir, whose secrets are hidden behind a door marked “abandon all oak, ye who enter here.”

Where Dante crossed the River Styx with Charon, Grahm’s characters are ferried across Chypz (clever spelling for the oak fragments used in cheap winemaking) with Char-On, a bull literally barrel-chested. Char-On is described in footnotes as “Mr. Chips Goes to Hell.”

Grahm recounts his struggles with ratings, bad corks, the great Yellow Tail and other Australian monsters and lists the sins and travesties he finds in modern winemaking.

I wish he’d put all this up on his website, instead of just in his newsletter. It still wouldn’t make me go ga-ga for wine, but I’m a sucker for a comic re-interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (or at least, just The Inferno).

As far as the illustration here, and who’s who in it:

Among the masses of bulk wines and vintners that Randall Grahm sees crowding the market place are hordes of French look-alikes (some on Gallo bicyclettes), the rooster of Rex Goliath, a not-so Little Penguin from Penfolds, plus an emu, kangaroo, moose and roaming goat representing wines from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/07/2021 09:44pm
Category: Creative, Food
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Getting passed over for promotions? Being assigned all the crap duties? Then you need to harmonize your desk-set energies, feng-shui style.

Declutter. Keep your spaces open and free of clutter.

Face the doorway. Place your desk away from the door and positioned so you welcome and greet those who enter.

Round off protruding corners. Rounded edges “let energy flow better”.

Face South. Where possible, choose a south-facing rectangular room for your office.

Choose good colors. Use soft low tones for the walls such as cream or pale yellow. Keep rugs dark in the deep blues or blacks.

Get a fish. Fish tanks and aquariums are very feng shui, promising to enhance wealth (or at least provide a fish dinner under bad circumstances).

I’m proud to declare that my new office space violates just about every one of these precepts. Except, of course, for the fish.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/07/2021 09:13pm
Category: General
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For those keeping track of such things: The Office Depot Center has been naming re-righted as BankAtlantic Center.

I’d say the home of the Florida Panthers is slowly upgrading itself, moniker-wise. Its original incarnation, National Car Rental Center, was confusing as all get-out — people from out of town would give that clunky name to cabbies, and find themselves shuttled to the nearest rent-a-car outlet instead. (I suppose now, those cabbies will make beelines for nearby ATMs.)

However, business clout-wise, the swap of corporate sponsors can be considered a downgrade:

Office Depot Inc. - $13.5 billion revenue (2004)

BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc. - $605 million revenue (2004)

I suppose there was an inevitability to this, given the NHL lockout. For its part, Office Depot is opting for a NASCAR-centric sports promotion strategy. I think they lose out overall, though, because that doesn’t make up for all the non-sports events that take place at the Sunrise venue.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/07/2021 08:52pm
Category: Hockey, SportsBiz
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