Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, December 14, 2021


It’s good to know that I’m not the only weirdo who has Eric Cartman of “South Park” on the brain when it comes to Brokeback Mountain.

I feel compelled to post a typo-free version of Cartman’s definition of the independent film oeuvre:

CARTMAN: No, dude, independent films are those black and white hippie movies. They’re always about gay cowboys eating pudding.

WENDY: No they’re not! Independent films are produced outside the Hollywood system. They’re movies without all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood.

CARTMAN: Byeh, sure. Well, you show me one independent film that isn’t about gay cowboys eating pudding!

I think director Ang Lee has some ’splaining to do. Omitting the pudding is not an effective enough dodge, I think.

As funny as this is, I’m a bit saddened to cite an instance of Cartman being a voice of wisdom (well, sorta). I feel “South Park” lost some edge when Cartman, originally the dumbassed fat-kid target of abuse from the other kids, started to become the cool kid — and that started happening in the first season, actually.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/14/2005 06:45:16 PM
Category: Comedy, Movies, Pop Culture
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This past summer, independent movies took a stab at advertising via niche blogs. Their brethren at the big studios must have noticed, because Paramount targeted blogs as movie-ad vehicles for three recent films, and were able to do it cost-effectively via Google AdSense’s site-targeting program.

But here’s the thing: Does it really work?

Two of the three films cited — Hustle & Flow and Four Brothers — were pretty much flops, despite critical acclaim for Hustle. The third, Aeon Flux, is falling short of expectations; and besides, had ten years of exposure owing to its roots as an animated cult hit on MTV. Doesn’t seem like much of a track record.

The movie industry is looking for every possible way to expose their product to potential audiences, so it’s not surprising that they’re exploring lower-impact online space. It’s a pretty cheap buy, too. But it’s going to have to demonstrate better results before it becomes a trend.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/14/2005 05:31:09 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Bloggin', Movies
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Counting today, it’s a dozen days until Jesus’ birthday. So tonight, hoist up one of these seasonal suds and celebrate the holiday with choice hops. (The Avery Old Jubilation Ale sounds particularly good.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/14/2005 04:53:06 PM
Category: Food
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I just love that Kim Yelvington named her patisserie “Chocolate Pi, and even underlines the pun by charging $3.14 for one of the signature treats at said shop. (I’m just glad she isn’t making people count out that price to the exact change.)

Yelvington shows a track record of mathematical obsession; her previous store was named “Sugar Cubed” (get it?). I’d always heard that, in the culinary realm, baking is more about precision than cooking is; so I guess it makes sense that a pastry chef would be inclined toward numbers.

Can I assume that her favorite movies — aside from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — are Pi and Proof?

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/14/2005 04:42:52 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Food, Movies
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It’s an open secret that college coaches absolutely hate recruiting prep players. And who could blame them? They’re in a position where they go from sucking up to the Golden Boy (or Girl) and parents, to subsequently trying to be a hardass after the kid is on the team and needs heavy instruction. It’s an awkward dual role.

Thanks to the wonders of wireless technology, the schmoozing has gotten a little easier, as programs have turned to text messaging via teenagers’ ubiquitous cellphones to deliver time-efficient pitches.

If there’s much truth to the stereotype of coaches being tech-phobic, it’s been dispelled thanks to a recruiting-rule loophole:

The NCAA limits phone calls from coaches to recruits to one call during the student’s junior year and once per week his senior year from Sept. 1 through November. There are no restrictions on the timing or number of text messages a coach can send a recruit beginning Sept. 1 of the prospect’s junior year. That has forced entire coaching staffs to adapt.

At Florida, each member of Urban Meyer’s staff was given a Blackberry and taught how to set up an address book and send and respond to messages.

Because thousands of recruits wear cell phones like jewelry, coaches have the ability to send a quick note - how was your day?; how did your test go? - 24 hours a day, whether waiting for a flight or standing on the sidelines.

I can’t believe the NCAA won’t eventually put restrictions on this, just like any other recruitment avenue. It has no plans to do so right now, but if the overuse this tool is seeing continues (some kids are cancelling their texting services due to the resultant high bills), maybe it won’t have to:

[Hillsborough High coach Earl] Garcia is frustrated when cell phones buzz or beep during his classes. And when it’s one of his football players he knows the author is often a college coach.

“I’ve seen with my own eyes kids completely blow off text messages,” Garcia said. “I’ve heard with my own ears players’ cell phones ring from fill-in-the-blank from every college from the Pacific to the Atlantic during school hours when in Hillsborough County it’s illegal to have a cell phone conversation during school hours.

“That is the next thing that needs to be looked at by the NCAA. … I don’t think they need to text message anywhere between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.”

Aside from the obvious de-personalization inherent in electronic communication, I wonder just how hands-on this texting is. It wouldn’t take much skill to automate big portions of this, so that a generic message shoots out at a pre-set time to every blue-chip recruit a coach is targeting. It would give the illusion of staying in touch, and provide that ego boost to the kids; but would have the desired effect of minimizing coaches’ time in the recruiting process.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/14/2005 10:36:21 AM
Category: Sports, Tech
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Pssst… Wanna pick up a quick traffic boost? Then link back to a post on the Official Google Blog, like I did yesterday regarding Gmail’s newly-obtrusive Googleware teasers. Thanks to the Blogger Backlinks pickup, my link on the Google Blog posted rather quickly, and I’ve been getting a steady stream of visitors from that way since. Welcome aboard!

Unfortunately, a few of those visitors have been knee-jerk dittoheads who can’t distinguish between levels of critique — i.e., that I like Gmail overall, but don’t like the trend indicated in using it as a delivery platform for extras and ads. Just this morning, when checking my Gmail inbox, the Web Clip displayed a “sponsored link”, or ad. I have little doubt this is just the beginning, and that future extras won’t have a turn-off option:

I’m not in the mood to debate with morons who can’t grasp the basic concept here, especially in terms of what it portends for the future. Talk to me in a year, when you’ll be the ones bitching about having to click through a couple of full-screen ads in order to see your Gmail inbox.

So, after getting enough stupid and half-literate comments to satisfy myself that I’d let this contingent have its say, I turned the comments off on that post (and I’ll do the same on this one, if it comes to that, so don’t bother). This ain’t a Google fanboy forum. If you have something substantial to add to the topic, write a post on your own blog and trackback it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/14/2005 09:53:12 AM
Category: Bloggin'
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