Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, September 24, 2021

I could use a little liquid refreshment. Should I have tea (a caffeinated stimulant, which I suck down with daily regularity), or a cocktail (an alcoholic depressant, which I suck down with far lesser regularity)?

No need for me to choose. A nascent signature-drink trend involving tea infused with spirits is taking hold in the city’s hipper watering holes.

Among the staging areas are Flatiron Lounge, with its Hibiscus Swizzle; Pegu Club, which features an Earl Grey MarTEAni (sounds a tad too cutesy for my tastes); and Hotel Gansevoort’s G Spa:

With the help of Tavalon, a Union Square tea purveyor, the G Spa expanded the concept of the cup of tea that customarily greets spa patrons to encompass a rum, mango and peony tea punch; a chamomile-tinged Cosmopolitan; and a Champagne fizz made with a marmalade-ish Korean citron fruit tea. “They’re a little guiltless,” [spa director Rachel] Lang said of the tea cocktails. “People think, there’s tea in it, so it’s not like a real drink. I mean, tea is a tonic.”

Hey, achieve the right mix of brew and hooch, and it’s all a tonic, babe.

I really should forward these joints my recipe for black currant tea marinade for steak. I can’t think of a better complementary bar snack.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/24/2006 10:54pm
Category: Food, New Yorkin'
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out of the oldLook who’s buzzing up the InterWeb again: Lauren Hastings, last seen around here in 2004, in her role in a series of Old Navy TV commercials featuring kitschy holiday carollers.

That old post is ringing up mad traffic, thanks to Hastings’ improbable public resurfacing as a victim of Nicole Richie’s celebutante wrath, for having the temerity to show up at a party in tow with Richie’s ex, DJ AM. Which means that everyone is now trying to dig up the backstory on this little-known actress-turned-aspiring-model, meaning that Richie actually did her a career-boosting favor. A snubbing backfire, basically.

I’d say this is a prime time to revive that long-abandoned “Blonde Girl from the Old Navy Commercials” tribute-obsessive blog. Although perhaps that’s been made superfluous by Hastings’ MySpace page.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/24/2006 04:13pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Bloggin', Celebrity
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“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Thus goes the most famous quotation attributed to Enlightenment luminary Voltaire. It’s a pithy summation of the principles behind democratic discourse.

But any scholar familiar with the French philosopher knows that, in fact, that quote is nowhere to be found in his works. For good reason, because while Voltaire espoused the essence of that sentiment, he never put it precisely in those words.

The “defend to the death” soundbite turns out to be a reinterpretation of this snippet from “Essay on Tolerance”:

“Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too.”

Not quite as snappy, is it? I guess even the great thinkers need a healthy dose of spin to make their big ideas more relatable to the hoi polloi.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/24/2006 03:06pm
Category: History, Wordsmithing
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Geez, I’m a dunce.

Those persistent pings from Bryant Park’s wi-fi network, that compelled me to issue a call-out? Guess where they were coming from. Not the park at all, but from that very same aforementioned post.

How? Without getting too technical, when I hyperlinked to my traffic stats, in my haste I wrongly used a location-generated query-string link. Thus, every time that post and/or this site’s index page logged a visit, a phantom hit seemingly coming from the park also registered. In essence, the site was pinging itself.

It wouldn’t have been a big deal, but the activity fairly spooked me. I figured it was some malicious hacker who’d somehow used the public wi-fi network to sniff out my blog’s backend, or was trying to. I was pretty sure my computer wasn’t compromised, but I wound up running system scans and changing passwords anyway. I also tried to block the park’s IP address, in vain (now I know why that fairly simple procedure refused to work). A lot of anxiety, waiting for a possible site hijacking that in reality was baseless.

The really funny thing: This site gets dozens of hijack attempts everyday, just like most other websites. That’s part of the landscape online. But I never see much explicit evidence of it, unless I dig deep into the backend. I know it’s going on, but there’s little sense in fretting over it; I implement as many security measures as are reasonable, and leave it at that. But when it makes itself apparent, via visible traffic stats, I get antsy. By rights, I should be nervous non-stop, but because I can’t see it happening, it doesn’t faze me. Classic out of sight, out of mind phenomenon.

Oh well. If nothing else, this was an unintentional wakeup call to use some layer of encryption before my next visit to Bryant Park. Even though this was a false alarm, the threat of hacking via public wi-fi is real enough. But I’d hate to give up my semi-regular Web surfing stopovers in the park, especially while the weather’s so ideal for it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/24/2006 02:04pm
Category: Internet, New Yorkin', Wi-Fi
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