Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 14, 2021

GrandCentral offers relief from the phone fatigue experienced by those of us with too many phone numbers. The service assigns you an overarching phone number that you keep for life, and that will ring all your separate phone lines at once so you can never miss a call.

My question: Why?

Frankly, if you’re still carrying a wireless phone, a primary landline, secondary landlines at vacation homes, a business line… You need to cancel most of those accounts. For all the money you’re spending on those separate lines, you can slim down to just a go-everywhere wireless phone with unlimited minutes, and be done with all the hassle. If you must keep a landline as insurance, fine — but you can do that for pretty cheap. Two numbers or less obviates the need for something like GrandCentral.

The “phone number for life” idea isn’t new. AT&T rolled out the (700) area code back in 1983, and it was intended for much the same market: On-the-go go-getters who moved around a lot. This was well before the explosion of multiple personal telecom options, of course; and somewhere along the way, the (700) code was repurposed.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/14/2007 10:36 PM
Category: General
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As everyone waits for subprime mortgage lender New Century Financial Corp. to go belly-up — and see how big a chunk of the U.S. economy it can take with it — Steven Pearlstein looks at the slicky-tricky loan products that inflated the current housing bubble.

As if the leading iterations of this creative financing — balloon mortgage, liar loan, option ARM, piggyback loan, teaser loan, and stretch loan — weren’t enough, they’ve been cut-and-pasted into a new financial Frankenstein:

No, folks, I’m not making this up. Not only has the industry embraced these “innovations,” but it has also begun to combine various features into a single loan and offer it to high-risk borrowers. One cheeky lender went so far as to advertise what it dubbed its “NINJA” loan — NINJA standing for “No Income, No Job and No Assets.”

I like it. Because, as anyone knows, ninjas can be characterized as “silent but deadly” — much how that whopper of a due-day loan payment can be.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/14/2007 10:04 PM
Category: Business, Society
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If, for some odd reason, you record today’s date of March 14th as 3.14, then National Pi Day, with its overindulgence in post-decimal recitation, is probably right up your alley.

So for you, enjoy Mike Keith’s poetic ode to pi, or “piem”:

To say that it is a something to behold is an understatement: It is nearly 4,000 words long — and the length in letters of each word corresponds to pi’s digits.

In other words, if you can remember the poem — which riffs on T.S. Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Act V of Hamlet and Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, among other texts — you too can recite pi.

For the rest of us, we can observe this day — which, it should be noted, is primarily American, as Europeans and others go with the day-month-year sequence, i.e. 14-3-2021 — in a much more subdued manner. Maybe by loading up π in the DVD player. Or, for more low-brow tastes, maybe an episode or two of “Magnum, P.I.”.

Whichever end of the spectrum you fall on, be sure to end the day’s observance by having some pi pie. Oh, what the heck — don’t stop at one slice, have 3.1415926535897932384626…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/14/2007 09:28 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Science
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