Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, February 14, 2021

A new bandwagon is loading up: Street lit, the book publishing business’ version of gangsta rap.

An early rising star in this subgenre is Dewitt “Relentless Aaron” Gilmore, an ex-con who emerged from prison with 30 fiction manuscripts. After publishing and distributing about a dozen of these semi-autobiographical gritty-and-grimy adventures himself, he caught the attention of St. Martin’s Press and got himself a four-book deal for a couple hundred thousand dollars.

So, I guess this is the old Eddie Murphy “Saturday Night Live” short film, “Prose and Cons”, come to life?

Somewhere, Tyrone Green seethes:

Images by Tyrone Greene…
Dark and lonely on the summer night.
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Watchdog barking - Do he bite?
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
Slip in his window,
Break his neck!
Then his house
I start to wreck!
Got no reason -
What the heck!
Kill my landlord, kill my landlord.
My land - lord

One of the funniest things “SNL” ever aired. If Shakespeare were alive today, he’d be doing time.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/14/2006 08:03:44 PM
Category: Comedy, Publishing, TV
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'nother little piece of my heart
For the past couple of days, I’ve been getting an uptick of hits on last year’s Anti-Valentine’s ecards post. I figured it was nothing unusual, given the season.

Turns out there’s a more general Valentine’s-hatin’ sentiment out there, validated by commerce participation. None too serious, as there’s a distinctly cute streak to even this cantankerousness.

It’s a natural reaction to all the hearts and flowers imagery. If you’re flying solo, it’s magnified, and sure to bring forth the sourness.

Myself, I’ve put aside the negativity for this go-round (well, mostly); I can indulge next time. In the absence of a girlfriend, I bought a box of chocolate truffles for my mom. Figure she could use it this year. Besides, she let me have a couple of pieces — instant karma!

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/14/2006 12:27:12 PM
Category: Comedy, Society
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How many ways are there to assail Grants.gov, the Federal government’s implementation of a unified grant-request processing website with critical components that work only with Microsoft Windows?

Off the top of my head, here are a few:

  • Not having someone consider that the academic community, which is a huge target audience for grant applications, would consist of a large chunk of Mac-only users;
  • Allowing the unnecessary clutter of an executable program for nothing more than text-based data input, like contact information and grant proposal descriptions;
  • Contracting with a pissant Canadian-based software shop (albiet one that has since been acquired by IBM — probably in no small part due to this Federal contract work) for what’s turned out to be the offending technology (not a big deal amongst adults, but grating on those who feel the U.S. government ought to steer its business toward domestic firms).

It’s not like this is the first time. When the plug was pulled on non-Windows versions of Internet Explorer, I noted that too many organizations blindly set up IE-only sites to make that a problem. Government sites are among the prime offenders, particularly a prominent one:

I’m thinking beyond cosmetic rendering and more at site functionality. For instance, FEMA’s disaster assistance registration webpage flat-out won’t work without IE (see for yourself). That creates an unnecessary hassle.

Grants.gov doesn’t involve the IE-optimized problem, but it’s the same ballpark. On the illusion of greater functionality or increased secure-side encryption, firms like PureEdge sell proprietary services that wind up being restrictive. The joke is that it’s far easier to implement Web-standard solutions, even though it goes beyond out-of-the-box components.

I hate to suggest more bureaucracy on top of a mountain of it, but isn’t it time Washington make sure that whoever’s in charge of approving these projects have some inkling about Web functionality standards? Something like this should have easily been vetoed early on.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/14/2006 11:55:09 AM
Category: Internet, Politics, Tech
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To protest their treatment while incarcerated, Saddam Hussein and his fellow captives are on a hunger strike.

What, no more Raisin Bran Crunch and Doritos? You know Hussein is jonesin’ bigtime.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/14/2006 10:46:20 AM
Category: Celebrity, Political
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