Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, March 24, 2021

all aboard!
The recent resurrection of construction for Manhattan’s 2nd Avenue subway, has caused a bit of a buzz in the Apple. Especially from everyone who’s anticipating construction headaches along/above the track path.

A look back to the mid-20th Century, before the original plans were abandoned, reveal grand, stainless-steel dreams for the trains that were to run on the T-Line:

When a scale model of the R11 was exhibited, an August 1948 article in The New York Times called it “New York’s subway car of tomorrow.”

With its sleek stainless steel shell, the R11 car was a stark departure from the painted and riveted steel cars that preceded it. It was not until some 15 years later, in the mid-1960s, that a full line of stainless steel cars came into use, Mr. Sachs said.

The portholes on the sliding doors are a nice touch. Gives the carriage a definite subway feel, appropriate for subterranean travel. I guess whatever runs on the 2020 version of the T won’t be as slick as these bygone trains, but I’m crossing my fingers on the porthole design.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/24/2007 05:55 PM
Category: History, New Yorkin'
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News flash: A crowd of scientific studies all conclude that multitasking behavior ultimately leads to counter-productive output.

Of course, the same conclusions were reached four years ago (to the day!). Just as no one listened then, I suspect this rerun research also will go unheeded. Leading to another few years of half-assery.

I think the biggest contributor to this Age of Distraction is the evolving functionality of the personal computer. It’s still positioned as a work tool, and often an indispensable one at that. But because of the ever-present Internet connection, it’s more like a media/telecommunication device, and everything that flows in and out of it in that context serves to pull your focus away from any one task.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/24/2007 05:13 PM
Category: Science, Society
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Among the many disclaimers for taking Viagra, isn’t one of them, “should not take if deceased”?

Perhaps that would dissuade Chinese worshippers from buying paper replicas of the purple pill, for the purposes of burning them for their deceased relatives’ use:

The [Nanjing] Morning News reporters, on a tour of the city in advance of the Grave-Sweeping Festival next month, found paper laptop computers and mobile phones, credit cards, travelers’ checks, and passports.

But money is nothing without life’s — and death’s — little pleasures. “At one suburban graveyard, they found call girls, condoms, and Viagra.”

The afterlife sounds as hectic as this mortal coil. And I’m sure the dead could do without spiritual erectile dysfunction.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/24/2007 03:43 PM
Category: Creative, Society
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Anyone else out there in blogland who’s running Akismet, and having a lot more spam comments punching through lately?

On this blog, I’ll logon in the morning to find three or four obvious pieces of pharmaceutical/porn cruft posted overnight on old posts. And several more come through during the course of the day; I estimate that in an average 24-hour period, around a dozen junk comments make it through the Akismet filter.

At that rate, that’s close to what was getting past the goalie before I installed Akismet, when I was largely doing it myself via the WordPress blacklist. The crucial difference: Akismet hasn’t let through the occasional spam-blast of 50 or so in one shot; the ones that have registered have been random, wayward pings. For that reason — and the expectation that the filtering algorithm will eventually tighten up again — I’m not even considering dropping/replacing Akismet.

It’s not hard to figure out why more false-positives are occurring: Akismet just shot past its 1 billionth spam ping blocked, thanks to a surge over the past couple of months, and particularly the past couple of weeks. The spambots are working overtime.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/24/2007 02:40 PM
Category: Bloggin'
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