Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, January 04, 2021

burn baby burn
As far as college promotional videos go, I can’t believe that the one for Appalachian State University is any cheesier or more low-budget-looking than the norm.

But that didn’t stop Progressive Boink from carving it up unmercifully, freezeframe-by-freezeframe. I think the Google AdSense banner displaying ASU text ads on the same page is a nice final touch.

(Via YesButNoButYes)

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 05:35:22 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

Citing quarter after quarter of red ink, Sembler Co. and Steiner+Associates are bailing out of the four-year-old Centro Ybor retail/entertainment complex.

The remaining partner, German-based real estate investment trust BVT, has an interesting idea for shaking Centro out of its doldrums:

“We think a brew pub [Tampa Bay Brewing Co., relocating from down the street] will energize the project and our tenants business there,” said Kip Marshall, president of BVT Asset Management’s U.S. operation in Atlanta. “This project has been a challenge, but we are in it for the long haul.”

The brew pub was not targeted just to fill a hole, Marshall said, but to add a proven draw from the neighborhood rather than import something from somewhere else.

Right. The prospect of grabbing a beer should have people pouring onto Centro’s walkways. Because God knows, it’s so hard to get a drink anywhere else on Seventh Avenue and beyond.

This is a classic example of an absentee landlord having no clue about the surrounding property. Has anyone who matters at BVT ever set foot in Ybor City on a weekend night? Holing up in Centro’s little cocoon appeals only to the type of people who don’t like going out to a raucous area like Ybor City in the first place. Putting a pub where there are a thousand others within easy walking distance isn’t going to do jack.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 02:49:01 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Business | Permalink | Feedback (4)

Looks like last summer’s idea of eliminating the third year of law school is gaining steam: A study from the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research concludes that the first two years are where the meat is.

Among the survey’s chapters: The First Year: “They Scare You to Death”; The Second Year: “They Work You to Death”; The Last Year: “They Bore You to Death.”

By keeping your eyes on the prize, you can tolerate being scared and worked into submission. But bored? Pass on that.

When I first commented on this idea back in August, two impressions were that this advocated less education for would-be lawyers. Naturally, unleashing less-qualified attorneys on the world would be a disaster.

I think the intent, rather, is to have them continue their learning outside the classroom, akin to a medical residency. That would give students a jumpstart on their careers, provide practical workplace experience, and cut down on the student debt.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 01:55:28 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback

the late-night factor
After Bill O’Reilly’s ambush by David Letterman last night, how long do you figure it’ll be before “The Late Show” is added to O’Reilly’s enemies list?

I watched the whole thing last night, meaning I saw the whole “Christmas-under-assault” part that set the acerbic tone for the subsequent Cindy Sheehan/Iraq War semantics argument. To me, seeing only the second portion means you’re catching only half the fun.

From what I saw, O’Reilly went off-script (yes, talkshows like Letterman are pre-set regarding topic areas and such, based on guest pre-interviews). As soon as he sat down, he told Letterman that he had a nice “winter solstice”. Letterman was clearly thrown for a moment. I’m speculating — purely speculating, but suspecting I’m right — that O’Reilly went ahead and launched into his Christmas persecution spiel, despite agreeing to not bring it up on the air. Once that line was crossed, I’m thinking Letterman decided to cut loose and go after O’Reilly.

And for the argument that Letterman was unfair with the “60 percent crap” comment when he admitted he never watched O’Reilly’s show: It’s quid pro quo. O’Reilly’s standard approach is to never inform himself of his guests’ backstory; he really shouldn’t get upset when he gets the same treatment (although I’m sure it more ego than anything else).

I’m sure more will be revealed over the next few days. It did make for an unusually lively “Late Show” segment. Between this and the boost from the much-anticipated Oprah appearance, Letterman might be making a triumphant comeback to the top of the late-night heap.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 01:02:50 PM
Category: TV, Political, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (2)

equals crazy delicious
Given the wildfire-like popularity of the “Saturday Night Live” short “Lazy Sunday / Chronic(What?)les of Narnia”, I’m wondering how many more tourists and curiosity-seekers Magnolia Bakery has been/will be getting. (Not to mention how many more negative reviews will appear on CitySearch.)

While Magnolia’s central role in the “Narnia” short gives the bakery a higher profile, the Bleecker storefront was already trailblazing the latest in cupcake accessories:

Magnolia Bakery, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in April, is renowned for its colorful, lightly textured cupcakes. In recent years, Magnolia has become something of a tourist attraction. It’s not uncommon to encounter a line spilling out of the West Village storefront.

Magnolia Bakery founder Allysa Torey says she doesn’t remember exactly when the general public started getting so excited about her cupcakes because they’ve always been a brisk seller, favored by New Yorkers for their portability.

“People just loved them from the beginning - you could just grab one and go,” she says, on the phone from her upstate New York home. “But a couple of years ago, we did start to see more tourists.”

Since then, Torey adds, she’s noticed an increase in similar cupcake shops and elaborate restaurant renditions. Despite such imitators, Magnolia’s most popular cupcake is still a simple vanilla cake topped with light vanilla buttercream icing.

I see the next comfort-food fad emerging. When everyone’s walking around with stray frosting all over their rosy cheeks in a couple of months, you’ll know why.

What the heck’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, anyway? Seems like Magnolia’s blurring the line with their jumbo-cups.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 01/04/2021 09:00:32 AM
Category: TV, Food, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback (3)