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Thursday, December 15, 2021

You don’t see this every day… The Florida Aquarium in Tampa is hosting Jose Blanco, a rare white alligator on loan from a New Orleans zoo.

Just on sight, I assumed Jose was an albino. Close, but no cigar: He’s actually got leucism, which is related, but distinct from albinism. The giveaway is the blue eyes. You learn something new every day.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/15/2005 10:39:25 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Science
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It’s dipped a toe into every other digitally-convertible media, so it only makes sense that Google is now tweaking its search functions to better highlight music-related queries.

Since this is online music, there’s an assumption that Google is doing this to lay the groundwork for selling songs. Google’s official word is that it’s not planning to compete with iTunes and other music services, although it could find itself in a position to be a major cog in driving customers to particular music stores, by virtue of its existing search dominance.

This new focus is still in the early test-drive stage, so it may be hit-or-miss:

You might be thinking, “why can’t I just type in an album name or a song name and get the same music search results?” There are many album names and songs which are also plain English words. Sometimes users are looking for music information related to those words, and sometimes they aren’t. As we get better at knowing when our users want music information, we hope to expand this feature to include more queries.

So when you try a search for, say, Donna Summer, it’ll spit back a top-of-page result that looks a lot like a sponsored link result. The results following that are a mixed bag.

Instead of lumping this into their default search engine — and thus gumming up non-music-related queries — I’m thinking that Google should set up a dedicated subdomain, i.e. music.google.com (which, currently, doesn’t exist). It’s what they’ve done for their other dedicated search fields, like Google News, Google Video Search, and Google Image Search. It would seem to be a natural, both for better functionality and better branding purposes.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/15/2005 01:40:54 PM
Category: Internet, Media, Pop Culture
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Okay, this is really weird.

Yesterday, I noted how Brokeback Mountain reflected a long-ago “South Park” joke.

After writing that post, I remembered the upcoming release of The Ringer, and how it, too, was reminiscent of yet another “South Park” moment: The episode “Up the Down Steroid”.

So today, I was all set to riff on these two big-screen actualizations of the Comedy Central animated series, and what that indicates for our current pop-cultural landscape.

Instead, I find out that the coincidence between The Ringer and “South Park” is more pointed, with the Farrelly Brothers team accusing the animators of stealing the idea.

So what does this all mean, ultimately? That presentations about gay cowboys and Special Olympics need to go through an animated satire filter before the zeitgeist is sufficiently prepped for the big-screen approach? Has “South Park” become an early-warning system for our shock-value sensibilities?

I think the fact that the show is even in the position to inform and influence other projects, serious and not so much, says enough.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 12/15/2005 11:34:02 AM
Category: Comedy, Movies, Pop Culture
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