Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, August 21, 2021

all hail
Is there some empty space between your twin Jesus Fish/ribbon magnet car emblems? Then consider adding a Flying Spaghetti Monster icon to your pantheon of auto-body symbols. Might as well cover all the pertinent faith-based bases in these United States.

Or perhaps it’s better to forsake all other false idols before the exalted pasta beastie. I can’t tell; the FSM tenets are unclear on the subject.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/21/2006 11:28:00 PM
Category: Comedy, Pop Culture, Society
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thrill on ice
Does the National Hockey League need its very own Terrell Owens?

Need him or not, the league — and the Boston Bruins — are about to get him, in the form of first-rounder forward Phil Kessel. At least, that’s what Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir thinks:

Like the Dallas Cowboys’ controversial wide receiver, Kessel has had trouble with teammates in the past. He can be a me-first player who sometimes neglects the other four skaters on his side. He’s been dogged by allegations of underage drinking, and he has a tendency to talk first and think later in front of the cameras.

And like Owens, he’s a player who, love him or hate him, people won’t be able to get enough of. And isn’t that exactly the type of young player the league needs?

I’d say it does. How many headline-worthy rogues has the NHL had in recent years, anyway? Sean Avery? Todd Bertuzzi? Fair, but ultimately lacking. Heck, to find the last legitimate bad-boy from the hockey world — excluding goalies, who everyone expects to be a little meshugga — you’d have to go all the way back to “Terrible” Ted Lindsay. If Phil “The Thrill” brings that kind of spice and grabs the sports world’s attention, bring it on.

Not to mention that Boston is just about the perfect stage for an NHL malcontent to roost. It’s an Original Six franchise, it’s poised for a return to respectability after a couple of downcast years, and the city’s other three major-pro teams aren’t expected to do much over the next year. If the hockey guys in Beantown and at league headquarters can’t seize this opportunity (and it wouldn’t shock me at all if they didn’t, given their ham-handed marketing track record), they should be shot.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/21/2006 10:52:42 PM
Category: Football, Hockey
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Looking for some big-time traffic-by-association? The Washington Post might make it happen for you and your blog. The Post’s new Blogroll is soliciting invitations to get linked on the newspaper’s website, with exposure and potential advertising revenue coming back to you.

It’s not going to be a free-for-all: The Post’s going to pick and choose, and likely will keep the number of participating blogs small. The aim is to tap into the slightly-ahead-of-the-curve zeitgeist, presented in that oh-so-hip blog wrapper.

Yes, of course I submitted this here blog. Hey, I’ll spread ‘em for a shot at online fame and fortune! More than likely, my content here is a bit too scattershot for the Post’s editorial and advertising teams to latch onto, but you never know.

(Via Creative Weblogging)

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/21/2006 07:05:27 PM
Category: Bloggin', Publishing
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So you’re staring toward your third decade of life — or maybe even your fourth. You’re working your ass off, taking on responsibility after responsibility in the office. You feel confident in your climb up the corporate ladder.

Except… You’re not climbing. Instead, you’re bumping your hipper-than-thou head against the “Gray Ceiling”, an entrenched strata of Baby Boomers who aren’t retiring and clearing out room on the C-level, thus leaving younger employees in career limbo.

The Gray Ceiling is purely a function of mathematics. Jon Ciampi, for example, was born in 1973, when the birthrate hit a quarter-century low. Just ahead of him and his peers is the anomaly known as the baby boom, the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.

Just behind him are the boomers’ children, known as Gen Y, who form a second bulge. And sandwiched in between is the baby bust, or Generation X. Known variously as the laziest generation and the most entrepreneurial, they are unambiguously the smallest generation since the Great Depression.

Though that worked to the benefit of Gen Xers when it came to slots in elite schools - and will once again work to their benefit when the boomers finally leave the workforce - right now it’s holding them back.

In a way, it’s a continuation of the new workplace/career dynamic, where you expect to move around instead of spending your entire working life with a single company. If you want to get ahead, sticking to the same corporate grindstone won’t do it — you practically have to go elsewhere.

In response, some companies have resorted to retention efforts that come off more like diversionary tactics:

Gen Xers, whose career expectations were shaped during the ’90s boom, are not, however, a patient bunch. That’s why more and more employers are adopting “unsiloing” as their newest HR buzzword.

Following the lead of GE, UPS, Exxon Mobil, and others, more companies are rotating young talent throughout the organization: A Sibson Consulting survey shows that more than half of Fortune 500 companies say they’ve begun shuffling potential leaders around to give them broad experience.

“Broad experience”? Sounds more like an attempt to keep the youngsters from getting bored. Or to distract them from the lack of substantive career development.

I’ve indirectly come across the Gray Ceiling myself. At my last publishing gig, I was certainly aware that there was a good stock of older pros above me, and that they weren’t looking to go anywhere for many moons to come. So that served as something of a disincentive for me to stick around. On the other hand, I’m not sure even the promise of more rapid advancement would have kept me there anyway — truth was, I was bored anyway, so the prospect of shooting for an extended tenure wasn’t exactly tempting. I guess one factor fed off the other, to an extent.

The upshot: It appears the best bet for Gen Xers is to remain nimble in relation to the corporate world. Make career mobility — which no longer has a real stigma to it — the means by which to move forward and make yourself a valuable commodity. Ironically, that’s a safer bet now than the stable path of the corporate ladder.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 08/21/2006 06:17:50 PM
Category: Business, Society
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