Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, November 04, 2021

What will New York City look like 100 years from now?

The dystopian view will probably be a nuked-out crater, or a towering landfill. I doubt those visions were allowed at the “City of the Future” architectural planning competition at Grand Central Terminal yesterday.

Among some of the way-out conceptualizations of the Gotham of Tomorrow:

The team from Konyk Architecture came up with “Cloud 09,” a city floating in air. It included a vertical subway system of high-speed lifts, or “vrams”; annexed Hudson and eastern Bergen counties in New Jersey; and envisioned office buildings as so technologically advanced that “business travel would cease to exist,” [Craig] Konyk said. “Travel would be strictly for recreational purposes.”

Glancing through this article, it seems like most of the visions for NYC 2106 involved literal in-the-sky living, with the ground below left to re-green itself. I guess building skyward is more fun and glamorous than, say, predicting underground shelters.

Then again, this was a History Channel “Engineering an Empire” promotional gimmick, and the professional architectural firms weren’t likely to show off their chops by conjuring up doom-and-gloom scenarios. Like I said, the point of this display was to accentuate the positive, not offer up plausible futurescapes. Still, I’d like to see the speculative converse to all this.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/04/2021 02:30:04 PM
Category: TV, Tech, New Yorkin' | Permalink | Feedback (3)

The very first wireless phone I owned is also the only one I ever wrecked. It was inadvertent — I was horsing around on the beach, and in a mental lapse, waded out chest-high into the water before remembering that the phone was in my pocket.

I figured the handset had been drowned but good, and so didn’t really bother to try reviving it. I was probably due for a new phone by that point anyway.

But should I pull this faux-pas again, I now know that I can attempt to recover the phone by drying it out with low-level heat, or more adventurously, an alcohol dip. Apparently, there’s a 50-50 chance for successful resurrection. It seems like it’s worth a shot, especially in terms of recovering all the photos, contacts, notes, etc. on the handset’s memory. What is there to lose? The phone’s likely dead anyway, so further tinkering isn’t going to do any further harm.

Important caveat: Remove the battery! I mean, it should be obvious by now that they hardly need an excuse to go blamm-o; no sense in cooking them toward explosion.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/04/2021 02:06:25 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback

The other day, someone walked in the room, disengaged from her phone conversation, and declared, “My cellphone has been ringing off the hook!”

Which struck me as a timely example of a no-longer-timely expression. Because, obviously, the now-common mobile/wireless phones, regardless of how much action they’re getting, don’t have hooks off which to ring. It’s linguistic anachronism in action!

Not that the phrase “off the hook” is bound to fade out anytime soon. Landline corded phones are still around, especially in offices, offering a live illustration of the concept. Heck, “off the hook” is even a favored cool-kids expression. Much like other antiquated telephone jargon, like “dialing a number” (no dialing occurs on touchtone keys, folks), this one will stick around long after its relevance will.

Still, I think the new phone handset technology calls for new, more appropriate slang to convey the message. Maybe something like, “My cellphone has been lighting up like crazy!” I’ll work on that…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/04/2021 01:31:58 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Tech, Wordsmithing | Permalink | Feedback (2)