Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, May 27, 2021

off me!Mr. Exemplary Child-Care, stage left, is located in Vigelands Parken, Oslo, Norway. He’s just one of the worldwide instances of downright bizarre statuary art.

More than one of the photos in that collection look Photoshopped.

Even though it wouldn’t quite fit into the theme, I’m disappointed that downtown Tampa’s exploding chicken sculpture didn’t make the cut.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/27/2007 08:20:55 PM
Category: Creative, Florida Livin'
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Go ahead, put the pedal to the metal in that SUV, and crank up the A/C while you’re at it! The damage you inflict to the planet is easily bandaged, in the form of oh-so-trendy “carbon offset” programs:

Groups that offer tree offsets typically rely on Web calculators requiring users to type in how many miles they drive, how much electricity they use and how far they fly. Figure out how much CO2 someone is responsible for (output), compare it to the work average trees can do (input), and you have a formula for neutralizing a person’s “carbon footprint.”

While the band Coldplay famously funded 10,000 mango trees in India to soak up emissions related to the production of a CD, the average consumer can get off far easier. For $40, Trees for the Future will plant 400 trees in a developing country to handle your car emissions. In June, Delta Air Lines will allow online ticket buyers to help offset emissions of their flights through tree plantings in the U.S. and abroad: $5.50 for domestic round trips, $11 for international.

While it’s better than nothing, the attempt to absolve conspicuous consumption via tree-planting is more about self-satisfaction than ecological salvation:

“The worst of the carbon-offset programs resemble the Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences back before the Reformation,” said Denis Hayes, the president of the Bullitt Foundation, an environmental grant-making group. “Instead of reducing their carbon footprints, people take private jets and stretch limos, and then think they can buy an indulgence to forgive their sins.”

“This whole game is badly in need of a modern Martin Luther,” Mr. Hayes added.

A real environmentalist two-step. Ba-bum.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/27/2007 07:30:34 PM
Category: Science, Society
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Ethipia is an in-development fantasy comic book that is, of course, being blogged-chronicled.

Why “Ethipia” instead of the factual spelling? It’s a story of typo-inspired creativity:

I was speaking to a guy from Sudan online, and he was admonishing me for my using the name Africa while referring to his home. He didn’t like the name because it was given to the land by the Greeks, and he started giving me the names of the land before the Greek influence. He typed “Ethipia” as one of the names (I assumed he misspelled it), and I couldn’t get it out of my head. There was something about the spelling that stuck with me. I wrote it out both ways, and then I emailed him to ask why he had spelled it the way he had to confirm my suspicions. He admitted it was a simple typo on his end, and I told myself to make the correction. Only I couldn’t shake the feeling that that name needed some thought.

In the end, I decided to keep the misspelling if only to let people know that though this is based on Ancient Ethiopia and the region, I wanted it made perfectly clear that this is a work of fantasy. I’ll research every aspect of the culture and region exhaustively, but no matter how much information I glean from various (often contradictory) sources, my historical accuracy isn’t going to be perfect. So the short answer is that Ethipia is closely based on Ethiopia, but it won’t be 100% the same place.

For want of a vowel, a fantasy landscape is born. A rare instance of something good coming out of all that rampant Web word-mangling.

FURTHER THOUGHTS: I’m thinking a catchier title for this post would have been “ETHI-NO-PIA”. I was preoccupied with making it clear that there wasn’t an unintentional typo in the title.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/27/2007 06:38:58 PM
Category: Bloggin', Creative
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