Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, June 12, 2021

bird vs. deer
What could get between Charles and the latest edition of his annual road trip?

A deer bouncing off his front end.

Fortunately, the bodily damage was limited to said deer and car, and didn’t extend to Chaz himself. But the travelin’ jones is apparently back in the closet for this summer. So the doe wasn’t the only casualty.

Could’ve been worse, of course. But these things happen for a reason, and hopefully whatever alternative activity will serve as some compensation for seeing the interstate sights.

I’ll refrain, at this time, from pointing out the grandiosity in calling a trek through half a dozen states a “world tour”…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 06/12/2021 11:12:56 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback (1)


I briefly mentioned that People Magazine was suing-mad over various gossip blogs publishing (what were) exclusive Brangelina baby photos. With the purchase price of said pics rumored to be in the $4-million neighborhood, getting beaten to the punch — with obviously stolen material, yet — carried serious financial ROI consequences.

But some are arguing that the leak was at worse inconsequential, and at best may have actually boosted the already-anticipated monster sales of the baby issue.

“I think it gins up the publicity machine,” said Martin Walker, a magazine consultant and the chairman of Walker Communications in New York. “It just creates more buzz, more noise, so more people will buy the magazine.”

[People managing editor Larry] Hackett conceded that all of the reproductions of the photographs might increase interest in the magazine. “I must confess, I think it helps,” he said. “Clearly, the blogs have betrayed a huge amount of interest in these photographs and people want to see them.”

But Gawker, for one, had a different interpretation. Jessica Coen, the blog’s co-editor, told USA Today on Thursday that “a few less people are going to buy it if they can see it online.” On Friday, Mr. Steele, Gawker’s managing editor, declined an interview, saying only that he is letting the posts on Gawker speak for themselves.

If these arguments sound familiar, they should: They’re essentially the same theories that have been used in the music/video fileswapping debate. Just as the baby Shiloh photos are framed as publicity incentives to drive sales of the “real thing”, songs and movies distributed through BitTorrent and the like are supposed to beneficially spur sales of legit content.

I didn’t buy that flimsy justification when it came to music, and I don’t particularly buy it in this case either. Granted, gossip hogs who prefer traditional print over online, and vice versa, don’t overlap an awful lot. And even if the leaks hadn’t occurred, there’d have been plenty of post-newsstand dissemination of the photos on blogs far and wide (as is happening now). But the instant gratification that the early unveilings gave undoubtedly will have a good percentage of consumers saving their dollars, since they got an early peek. People will still sell a gajillion copies, but who knows how many it would have been without the broken exclusivity?

I’m thinking future purchase prices for this sort of thing will be severely discounted.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 06/12/2021 10:45:50 PM
Category: Bloggin', Publishing | Permalink | Feedback


One more reason to never trust anyone over 30: An ultra-high frequency sound that’s often imperceptible to adults, but fully audible to kids, is being utilized by teens as a ringtone to alert them to text messages while they’re in no-phones-allowed classes.

It was marketed as an ultrasonic teenager repellent [called the Mosquito], an ear-splitting 17-kilohertz buzzer designed to help shopkeepers disperse young people loitering in front of their stores while leaving adults unaffected.

The principle behind it is a biological reality that hearing experts refer to as presbycusis, or aging ear. While [28-year-old high-school teacher] Miss Musorofiti is not likely to have it, most adults over 40 or 50 seem to have some symptoms, scientists say.

While most human communication takes place in a frequency range between 200 and 8,000 hertz (a hertz being the scientific unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second), most adults’ ability to hear frequencies higher than that begins to deteriorate in early middle age.

Yes, the generation gap extends to sensory perception.

I kinda wonder why these sneaky kids don’t just set their phones to vibrate-only for their surreptitious texting. Keep it in your pocket so you can sense it. Some phones’ vibrations actually buzz noticably loudly, though, so maybe that would tip off the teacher more easily.

Anyway, here’s the offending ringtone. I can hear it, clear as day. Not bad for a geezer who’s only days away from his 35th birthday.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 06/12/2021 10:02:03 PM
Category: Tech, Science | Permalink | Feedback (16)