Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, March 06, 2021

Are you an aspiring franchisee, cursed with an artistic sensibility?

Do yourself a favor: Open a McDonalds and adorn it with a modest selection of objets d’art. It’ll be way cheaper than trying to start up a branch location of the Louvre, as the going rate for renting that acclaimed name is $520 million for 30 years.

That is the amount that Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, agreed today to pay to attach the Louvre’s name to a new museum that it hopes to open in 2012. And there is more: in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice, Abu Dhabi will pay France a further $747 million.

That’s a total of $1.2 billion for some high-class exhibit space in the southern Persian Gulf. That takes care of the high-end tourist trappings. I wonder how much Disney would scoop up for lending the naming rights to a Walt Disney World Arabia?

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/06/2021 11:34 PM
Category: Business, Political
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Every time news of a city-wide free/low-cost wireless Web network comes up, I always point out how that prospect would affect Starbucks.

It ain’t because all that hi-frequency wavelengthing would superheat all those venti cups. It’s because Starbucks is the most prominent example of a commercial outlet that imposes a fee for wireless Web access, via partner T-Mobile. In my mind, free hotspots serve to undercut high-end outlets that are coveted by proponents of downtown vitality; therefore, any such undertakings should tread carefully.

But maybe I’ve got it backwards. Rather, perhaps Starbucks and its ilk should give up the pay-for wi-fi offering, similarly to how another value-added amenity was positioned decades ago:

In the 1920s, when air-conditioning began to be installed in movie theaters, owners had to spend a sizable sum — $50,000 (roughly equivalent to $570,000 today) — to transform the property into a “cold spot.” But it was worth it. Before the “refrigeratory process” came along, theaters could not draw customers during the summer because of the unbearable heat in confined space. With air-conditioning, patronage increased so sharply that even the largest investments were quickly repaid.

Wi-Fi does not address a similar problem of seasonal attendance. Nor will it produce a multifold increase in patronage. But, then again, it’s not nearly as costly to introduce as the cooling plants of the 1920s.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that some theaters back then experimented with some similar per-patron charge for AC. Maybe some owners opted for seatside mini-fan, that you had to feed with coins to stay cool? It would have gone nowhere. There may be more parallels to todays free/pay wi-fi option in retail lounges.

Simply put, offering free wi-fi will encourage Starbucks patrons to hang out longer, increasing the chances that they’ll order a couple of extra cups of coffee, cookies, etc. That should offset concerns about providing the Web access, and being able to serve more customers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/06/2021 11:08 PM
Category: Business, Wi-Fi
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Oh what to do about those too-tight seatbelt straps, as they cut into your arm and shoulder and chest?

Enter the cushiony-soft Tiddy Bear clip-on strap insulator!

Owing to the pronunciation of “tiddy”, and the apparently favored placement of these mini-bruins in the cleavage area, Dabitch prefers to call them “titty bears”. That certainly heightens the impression that the little plushies are doing a little groping while guarding against strap-burn. And of course, it’s due to this non-entendre that I’ve posted this silliness here.

And since this has all devolved into yet another breast joke, let’s clarify one last thing: Yes, these tiddies are real.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/06/2021 06:48 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Comedy, Creative
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