Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, October 22, 2021

Quite unintentionally, over the past week I’ve indulged in three creative works whose (completely unrelated) stories take place in parallel decades, separated by 100 years:

- First, I cracked open my copy of Alan Moore’s and Eddie Campbell’s “From Hell” for long-overdue re-read. It’s a highly fictionalized/speculative take on the Jack the Ripper murders, so the bulk of it takes place in the late 1880s.

- Then, at the start of the weekend, I caught the opening of Running with Scissors. The Augusten Burroughs autobiopic covers the late 1970s to early 1980s.

- Finally, today I took in Marie Antoinette, which centers primarily on the 1770s and 1780s.

So that’s the 19th, 20th and 18th Centuries in the spread. Which, if you think about it, represents a roller-coaster ride of societal transformation.

The temporal/historical juxtaposition is largely coincidental, and is really the only thing linking these three diverse works of art. But seeing as how I’m occupying my leisure time with them in such a compact window of time, it seems to hold some significance from my perspective.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/22/2006 08:55:13 PM
Category: History, Movies, Publishing
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Headline writers of America, you disappoint me.

A quick Google News search tells me that, with this weekend’s wide-release opening of Marie Antoinette, not one news service ran a review topped with the most obvious of heds:

“Ballad of a Teenage Queen”. Perfectly appropriate for the story of an Austrian princess who was married off at age 15, became Queen of France at 19, and never had the chance to really grow up after that. I think Johnny Cash’s song title is a natural.

I guess the copy editing ranks out there need an infusion of pop-cultural indoctrination. Big swing-and-a-miss here.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/22/2006 05:19:16 PM
Category: Internet, Movies, Pop Culture
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so special
As fanatical as I am about sports, I’m not much for the obsessive number-crunching that afflicts others. I’ll take the stats as they come, but I can live without viewing the game through a decimal-point prism.

That said, I’ve liked the idea of compiling a measuring stick for special teams play in the National Hockey League. Now that obstruction has more or less been stamped out, power play and penalty kill units are a bigger part of the game than ever; and so, a capsule look at how each team’s odd-man play performs is handy.

Enter the Special Teams Index. I’m putting it together the basic way: By adding a team’s power-play conversion percentage number with the same team’s penalty-kill success number. There are other options. STATS’ formula takes an admirable stab at incorporating shorthanded goals scored and allowed; I feel that adds needless complexity by weighing a factor (shorthanded goals) that isn’t really prioritized by most NHL teams. Adding percentage points is fairly simplistic, but it more or less does the job.

So, here they are, through last night. It’s an ideal time to present this, as today (as with most Sundays during the Fall) is a light schedule day. I aim to update this weekly, in case anyone’s interested.

STI Rank Team PP % (Rank) PK % (Rank) STI Number
1 Montreal Canadiens 27.0 (2) 91.3 (2) 118.3
2 Florida Panthers 27.9 (1) 88.7 (7) 116.6
3 Minnesota Wild 22.2 (7) 92.3 (1) 114.5
4 San Jose Sharks 25.5 (3) 88.4 (10) 113.9
5 Anaheim Ducks 25.0 (5) 88.4 (9) 113.4
6 Buffalo Sabres 24.5 (6) 88.5 (8) 113.0
7 Pittsburgh Penguins 25.0 (4) 83.7 (15) 108.7
8 Atlanta Thrashers 17.4 (12) 90.0 (5) 107.4
9 Edmonton Oilers 14.0 (21) 91.3 (3) 105.3
10 Dallas Stars 14.5 (20) 89.1 (6) 103.6
11 Toronto Maple Leafs 15.6 (18) 84.4 (13) 100.0
12 St. Louis Blues 15.9 (15) 83.9 (14) 99.8
13 Vancouver Canucks 13.2 (22) 86.4 (11) 99.6
14 Carolina Hurricanes 16.4 (13) 83.0 (17) 99.4
15 Chicago Blackhawks 21.3 (9) 78.0 (23) 99.3
16 Columbus Blue Jackets 21.7 (8) 77.5 (24) 99.2
17 New York Rangers 19.1 (11) 80.0 (20) 99.1
18 Los Angeles Kings 12.7 (23) 85.7 (12) 98.4
19 Colorado Avalanche 15.7 (16) 82.2 (18) 97.9
20 Ottawa Senators 5.4 (30) 91.2 (4) 96.6
21 Washington Capitals 15.9 (14) 80.5 (19) 96.4
22 New York Islanders 19.6 (10) 76.4 (28) 96.0
23 New Jersey Devils 15.2 (19) 79.3 (21) 94.5
24 Nashville Predators 15.6 (17) 78.6 (22) 94.2
25 Philadelphia Flyers 7.3 (28) 83.7 (16) 91.0
26 Phoenix Coyotes 9.8 (25) 77.0 (26) 86.8
27 Detroit Red Wings 8.7 (27) 77.4 (25) 86.1
28 Tampa Bay Lightning 8.7 (26) 76.3 (29) 85.0
29 Boston Bruins 10.8 (24) 73.0 (30) 83.8
30 Calgary Flames 6.8 (29) 76.7 (27) 83.5
by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/22/2006 01:12:58 PM
Category: Hockey
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