Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, April 27, 2021

back in blakTake it from Marvo: The next time you throw down in a barroom brawl, make sure you’re not drinking a bottle of Coke Blãk. Because the bottle’s shatter-proof design means you can’t rely on using it as a jagged-glass shiv in a pinch.

Come to think of it, conspicuously swigging a bottle of Blak in a brawl-prone bar is probably a sure way to get that fight started. So that little 8-ounce bottle of coffee-flavored sugarwater is a troublemaker all around.

Since I can’t stand the taste of coffee, Coca-Cola infused or not, I guess I’m safe.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/27/2006 11:31:01 PM
Category: Comedy, Food
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The new paperback edition of Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” has topped 1 million sold copies. I can believe it — I’ve seen many a New Yorker walking around with their noses stuck in the book. And I’m sure “Da Vinci” mania will intensify with next month’s release of the movie.

In the meantime, you can try your hand at solving the Smithy Code, a word puzzle implanted into the written court ruling on the recently-completed copyright-infringement lawsuit against Brown:

The first clue that a puzzle exists lies in the typeface of the ruling. Most of the document is printed in regular roman letters, the way one would expect. But some letters in the first 13.5 pages appear in boldface italics, jarringly, in the midst of all the normal words. Thus, in the first paragraph of the decision, which refers to ["Holy Blood, Holy Grail" authors] Mr. Leigh and Mr. Baigent, the “s” in the word “claimants” is italicized and boldfaced.

If you pluck all the italicized letters out of the text, you find that the first 10 spell “Smithy Code,” an apparent play on “Da Vinci Code.” But the next series of letters, some 30 or so, are a jumble, and this is the mystery that needs to be solved to break the code.

Intrigued? Here’s the PDF of Justice Peter Smith’s ruling; have at it.

UPDATE, 4/28/2006: Well, that was quick. Smithy’s code’s been cracked, using the same Fibonacci Sequence that’s so central to the novel. Turns out to be about some British naval officer who pioneered the development of the dreadnought naval ships.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/27/2006 10:54:42 PM
Category: Creative, Publishing, True Crime
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Is “middlingly” a word?

That’s what I idly wondered after using it this evening in a mental assessment of a woman who gave me the cold shoulder. Namely: “She’s got a nasty disposition, and is only middlingly pretty; so screw her.” (Yes, I was rationalizing in the afterglow of rejection; we all have our necessary rituals.)

Turns out, it is indeed a word, the adverb form of “middling”. So I’m grammatically secure.

It seems my encounters with the opposite sex are prompting minor bursts of wordsmithing from me. I don’t recall that happening before. Must be the new New York surroundings.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/27/2006 09:39:49 PM
Category: Creative, Women
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