Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, November 05, 2021

Call me kooky, but this diatribe against car-crash safety testing from a 26-year-old issue of Car and Driver brings to mind a current-day controversy — and it ain’t automobile-related:

Take crashworthiness. Nothing else made by man or God is designed to crash. Ships aren’t designed to sink. Jet aircraft aren’t designed to crash. Only cars. Try to imagine a rainbow trout or a tiger that was designed to withstand a 30-mph barrier impact. A wild duck designed to survive the federal barrier test would be the funniest-looking organism you ever saw. It wouldn’t be able to lift off the water, let alone fly. Have you ever noticed that virtually everything in nature is beautiful? That’s because it’s been allowed to evolve along lines that make it most efficient for the tasks it has to perform. Nature protects her creatures from crashing by providing them with mobility, and the instincts to take advantage of that mobility. Creatures that persist in crashing into barriers don’t become better adapted to barrier crashes, they become extinct, as they should.

I’m hearing nascent noises of the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution debate, via Detroit. I suppose there’s some room for interpretation as to which theory it supports, if you discount the use of “evolution” as a general term for design development.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/05/2021 08:16:19 PM
Category: Society, Science | Permalink | Feedback (2)

The Cyborg Name Decoder makes a curious assumption about the faculties of the Robotic Me:

C.O.S.T.A.: Cybernetic Operational Scientific Troubleshooting Android

Troubleshooting? Nice to know I’d be a helpful bucket of bolts. I’d have been happy with “Tenacious” or “Telekinetic”, or any other “T”-lettered attribute.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/05/2021 07:24:39 PM
Category: Internet, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (5)

Succinctly: I’ve never seen anything burn itself out as quickly as Web 2.0 has.

Thanks to a ton of overhype, it’s become a completely meaningless label. All you have to do is implement Ajax (itself a redundant Web tinkertoy) to any half-baked timewaster, and it’s declared “next generation”. It’s a joke, and thankfully, someone’s setting up the punchline.

I guess we can look forward to the rush of venture capital cash for these whispy business plans, and the resultant crash when everyone eventually wakes up. For those who didn’t get enough of the late ’90s the first time around.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/05/2021 07:01:22 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback

hot pod-on-pod action
Jerry Seinfeld once had some sort of comedy bit about the seemingly automatic prurient utility of media devices: Telephone — phone sex; Internet — online porn; photocopier — put your ass on it!

That beat goes on with the rollout of the video-enabled iPod. Porn producers see a lucrative market for selling online video clips tailor-made for iPod viewing.

“It could be a huge percentage of our business,” says [Vivid Entertainment Group’s] chief executive, Steven Hirsch. “People love watching adult movies and to be able to carry an adult movie in your pocket is a powerful tool.”

Talk about a rocket in your pocket…

Naturally, Apple didn’t create this market by adding video playback to the iPod. It’s not even the first instance of adult content for the portable player: Porn podcasts have been around as long as any other format. But since the iPod makes up such a large share of the market, it automatically creates critical mass for making money in this arena.

I’m guessing the small screen size isn’t going to be an issue. The tradeoff is portabilty and convenience. Although I can see some enterprising company coming out with a screen magnifier.

I say, better that you get your rocks off by surreptiously eyeing your iPod than by watching it while driving your minivan.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/05/2021 06:26:50 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (1)

cat's maoDowntown Tampa recently woke up to a new sight: A large-scale illustration of Chairman Mao Tse-tung above the long-shuttered Kress storefront on Franklin Avenue.

You might think it’s advanced promotion for yet another condo-planned redevelopment. (Hey, when $1 billion worth of projects are rolling through, who questions where the money’s coming from?)

But no. The “Obey” logo on Mao’s collar tips off the mystery: It’s the work of Shepard Fairey and his “Obey” street-art brand. Fairey was in town this week for the “Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture” symposium at USF; I guess he wanted to leave a more widely visible calling card behind. (I’ll refrain from pointing out the irony in using faux-communist propanda imagery as a means to sell tshirts and prints.)

But did Fairey really pull that off? This part fairly kills me:

People are not sure just when Mao - who sports the word “Obey” on his collar - first appeared in Tampa. He seems to have to slipped into town under cloak of night, much like Shepard Fairey, a 35-year-old graphic artist based in Los Angeles.

So, some jokers spent at least a couple of hours installing this thing, in the heart of downtown, and nobody was around to see it: No passerbys, no cops, nobody. I think that tells you exactly how dead Tampa’s downtown core is on an average night. The classic urban ghosttown after dark, still.

Which means not many people will actually see this installation, not only because of the lack of bodies, but also because the city’s likely to yank it in short order. It’ll be a blip.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/05/2021 12:21:48 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Creative | Permalink | Feedback