Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, November 17, 2021

starting traffic
So, ever since I waxed appreciatively about Jill Wagner’s turn in those Mercury commercials, I’ve been getting a steady stream of visitors seeking out more information about the actress (helped along by some Jalopnik action). You can get an inkling of the interest out there from the… interesting comments being left at that original post (funny how some dunderheads can’t distinguish a blog from your run-of-the-mill garbage forum site).

For the past couple of days, I’ve been getting even more traffic, courtesy of Ms. Wagner. I wasn’t sure what was behind the surge. But I got a hint today when the Detroit Free Press did a feature on Wagner and how her career is taking off, thanks in part to the commercials.

It turns out that Wagner has landed the female lead in an upcoming TV series based on the Blade movie franchise. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be a rehash of “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer”.

Sarah Webster, the Freep writer, was kind enough to email me a heads-up on her article, because she quoted this blog in it:

“I’m not about to start a shrine,” one fan writes, “but I have to admit, I’m smitten with the spokeswoman in the current Mercury Mariner and Montego commercials. At least, as smitten as one can get from a TV commercial. … I would say that Jill’s vivaciousness — and her sure delivery of the ad slogan ‘put Mercury on your list’ — makes me want to run out and buy a Mercury.”

I’m that “one fan”, of course. And while I don’t mind the citation, I do have a few gripes:

1. No direct attribution, which would have been nice. I like to get the Population Statistic name around (if not my own). Noting that it was blog material would have been even better; I wonder if the Freep is one of those papers that still thinks blogs are too foreign a concept for their readership to recognize.

2. This citation is a good example of what can get lost when transferring a hyperlinked document into print. The “I’m not about to start a shrine” line loses a good deal of its meaning when it’s disconnected from the previous instance of someone obsessing over a TV commercial actress.

3. Finally, the last line is truncated. In full, I wrote, “…makes me want to run out and buy a Mercury… but let’s not get crazy.” Kinda changes the context.

So, overall, it’s a mixed blessing. I’ll gladly take the resultant traffic, though. And naturally, if Wagner wants to show her appreciation, well, you won’t hear me argue…

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/17/2005 11:26:12 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Women | Permalink | Feedback (3)

open to interpretation
One of my hockey pet peeves is the constant lack of distinction given to the terms “empty net” and “open net”.

Here’s the difference, as I see it:

- “Empty net” refers to a situation where the goalie has left the crease and is leaving/has left the ice altogether. It’s a typical maneuver at the end of games, when the losing team sacrifices protecting the net in favor of an extra skater in the hopes of netting another goal before time expires. It also comes into play on a delayed penalty call, when it’s safe to sub in a sixth skater for a goalie because the opposing team can’t touch the puck without automatically stopping play. In this sense, the net is truly empty, because no one is positioned to block it.

- “Open net” refers to a situation where most or all of the net is exposed because the goaltender is out of position, even though he’s still on the ice. In this case, the goalie’s not abandoning his position, but he’s been caught out of position, whether he’s on his back, behind the net, up near the blueline, or what have you.

In both cases, the result is a primo scoring opportunity. The key is in how they come about: The former is intentional, the latter not as much. And of course, it’s not stretch to say that an empty net is always an open net, but an open net is not always an empty net.

It really irks me when people use the two interchangably, because they’re not the same thing. This is borne out by a fairly consistent, and proper, use of “empty net” for the end-of-game gambit — the only instance where the terms aren’t mixed up.

It’s especially widespread vocally, on radio and television hockey talk. In fact, just tonight, during the Lightning-Islanders game, Tampa Bay forward Ruslan Fedotenko kept referring to the “empty net” into which he potted his goal — when in fact, New York goalie Rick DiPietro was in the crease, just overcommitted to the opposite post. Even the players can’t get it straight.

So, here’s my message to hockey heads out there: Know your nets!

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/17/2005 10:41:18 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback

Inexplicably, my random-play-set iPod was trying to cram Go Go’s songs down my throat all day long, both in the office (where it’s regularly FireWire-tethered to my Mac) and during my commutes. All 12 tracks that I have, among the 800 songs currently loaded up.

And as usual, the thing almost never ticks up the popular songs like “Vacation” and “Head Over Heels”. Instead, it continually picks out “You Thought” and “Turn To You”.

Maybe there’s an odd algorithm in the iPod’s firmware that favors Belinda Carlisle…

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/17/2005 10:17:15 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech | Permalink | Feedback (1)