Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, March 31, 2021

More people willing to cough up dough for Sirius equipment and subscriptions, that is. The King of All Media is peeved that he hasn’t converted more listeners to satellite:

“I was just at my psychiatrist and I said, ‘I just got great news: We hit the 4 million mark. And I’m angry. It should be 20 million,’” Stern says in [this week’s Entertainment Weekly], on newsstands Monday.

“It’s insulting to me that everyone hasn’t come with me. I take it personally,” he says.

“I want to say to my audience… ‘You haven’t come with me yet? How dare you? We’re up to wild, crazy stuff, the show has never sounded better. You cheap bastard!’”

A provocative stunt by Stern, with low risk: It’s not going to lose him any existing subscribers, even if unlikely to challenge many to ante up. Even if calculated, I’m sure it served as an effective personal vent. But even calculating in a massive ego, even Stern should have known that the critical mass to be achieved with his move to satellite wouldn’t be that critical. Besides, 4 million is nothing to sneeze at.

If Stern really wants to juice up the numbers, he needs better exposure. The fact is, satellite programming has no presence to those who aren’t already subscribing. The perfect outlet: A television show! Getting back on E! is pretty well out of the question, considering his current court hassles with his old bosses; but I’d definitely tune in for a rebirth of his old show on some other cable station. A five-day-a-week video recap of his show would create a steady stream of new sign-ups. Definitely an avenue to reopen.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/31/2006 07:36:30 PM
Category: Radio
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wake up!
This week has been National Sleep Awareness Week. And as you can see, the National Sleep Foundation got the word out all over.

Is it just me, or does it seem like a bad idea to flash a highway-sign message that could induce drowsiness? As sleep-deprived as most people are, there’s no sense in making visual-cue suggestions at 55+ miles per hour.

I wasn’t aware of the significance of this week until today, but coincidentally, I did something to aid my own slumbering ways. I’m not the sound sleeper I used to be in my youth — it seems like the slightest ruckus outdoors wakes me up nowadays. It’s been this way for years, and outside of buying a home in the remote countryside, it’s hard to avoid.

I’ve tried earplugs in the past, but they never did the trick. Still, I went to the drugstore to find a brand worthy of another shot. 3M Nexcare Foam Earplugs looked better than those ball o’ wax alternatives, so I bought a pack. Turns out they work great! The only hassle is positioning them into the ear canal the right way; but once they’re in, they filter out enough sound to allow me to sleep through the night and well past the time that the street clatter gets going to full volume.

So I’ll have to keep the Nexcare plugs on my list. Now I’m gonna go take a nap.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/31/2006 07:10:28 PM
Category: Science, Society
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When I first saw the trailer for Snakes on a Plane on Tiny Little Dots, I was sure it was a fake. Yeah, there was a New Line Cinema logo on it, and Samuel L. Jackson is in it, but such things are easily forged.

But no, it’s all too real.

And we have Jackson to thank for the most half-baked movie title to come along in, well, forever (despite what Yahoo! Buzz thinks). Not only did he agree to do this movie based solely on the title, he even prevented a name change to “Flight 121″. Another dumb title, and it wouldn’t have improved what’s looking like a toxic piece of celluloid anyway; but geez.

What bugs me the most is the nagging feeling I’m getting that this gambit is going to pay off fantastically. Snakes is probably going to wind up being a blockbuster, and then every studio’s going to come out with flicks with similarly dumbed-down tags: “Slasher in the Mall”, “Funny Guy in New Jersey”, etc. Telegraphed theatrical entertainment.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/31/2006 11:20:58 AM
Category: Movies
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When the Office of the Director of National Intelligence starting gearing up last year, I figured it was going to predictably develop into another level of bureaucratic strata:

Beyond that, these early indications tell me that the new National Intelligence office is going to be nothing more than an administrative extension of the CIA, thereby giving that agency more clout for interdepartmental turf battles. Since the DNI was intended to be set above and apart from the various intelligence agencies in Washington, it appears early concerns that it would develop into an unneeded governmental layer had validity.

It looks like Congress concurs, demanding an “architectural study” of the DNI to justify its expanding staff and operations:

The bill would require the nation’s intelligence director, John D. Negroponte, to present a detailed rationale for any additional increases to his staff or risk losing a portion of his budget. The measure was endorsed by Republicans and Democrats.

“We’re concerned about some of the steps that are going on” at Negroponte’s office, said Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Hoekstra said Negroponte needed to demonstrate that any further expansion would improve coordination among intelligence agencies, and would not amount to “putting in more lawyers and slowing down the process.”

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Venice [Calif.]), the ranking Democrat on the committee, cited similar concerns.

“We don’t want more billets, more bureaucracy, more buildings,” Harman said. “We want more leadership.”

It really wasn’t hard to see this coming. When you create a governmental agency, it’s got nowhere to go but the bloat route. In the case of trying to coordinate the intellgence fiefdoms, forget it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/31/2006 10:17:25 AM
Category: Politics
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