Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, November 10, 2021

As Michael Mukasey starts his stint in the Attorney General chair, he might want to include a couple of history texts in his reference library, just to help him out on his fuzziness regarding waterboarding.

Because apparently, this technique was debated as a form of torture during America’s colonial ware in the Philippines, more than a century ago. And if the “water cure” from those days wasn’t definitively identified as torture, then it certainly was by the Vietnam era.

So if the issue was already decided decades ago, why the confusion? Is it because of the supposedly new terrain that the War on Terror represents? Mukasey will have to hash that one out as he guides the Justice Department during the remainder of the Dubya years.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/10/2021 07:52:35 PM
Category: History, Politics, True Crime
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I can’t say I ever knew that skateboarding used to be perceived as a pasttime only for white boys.

It ain’t anymore, as concrete surfing now draws black city kids as well, due in no small part by buy-in from hip-hop artists like Pharrell Williams and other urban arbiters of cool.

In black neighborhoods, skateboarding was regarded as something foreign that crept in from the suburbs. “Black people would look at me like I was the brother who fell from another planet,” said Steven Snyder, 45, a former professional skateboarder and a manager at Uprise Skateboard Shop in Chicago. He compares the social stigma of skating within the black community to that of “making out with a white woman in the 1950s down South.”

Over the last two decades, the sport shifted away from ramp-based vert skating to street skating, a variation that made use of urban structures like stairways, curbs and railings. As the importance of access to ramps dwindled, skateboarding’s fan base grew increasingly diverse.

From the mid-1980s onward, black street skaters such as Ray Barbee, Kareem Campbell and Harold Hunter (who died last year) became prominent. In 2004, Reebok started sponsoring Stevie Williams, a gold-toothed, bling-flashing skater from Philadelphia. Mr. Williams, now 27, has his own line of Reebok gear, DGK by RBK (DGK is an acronym for Dirty Ghetto Kids), and is regarded as a successor to Allen Iverson and Jay-Z as a pitchman with street appeal.

I take special note of this development because, as a hockey fan, I’m sensitive to the perception of my favorite sport similarly white-only territory. That’s gotten some reinforcement of late with Barry Melrose’s recent flap over his comments about the Newark neighborhood around the Devils’ new Prudential Center arena. If skateboarding can pull off this transformation, can ice-skating brigade do it as well?

I always thought the National Hockey League failed miserably to expand its horizons in this way back in the mid-1990s, when oversized hockey jerseys started becoming the fashion garb of choice among rap stars. This was practically an engraved invitation to sell the game to a new audience.

Maybe hockey can start with the roller (versus ice) skates as well. Inline skates are about as popular as the boards, and it’s a simple segue into street hockey games from there. That’s enough of a hook to introduce the same urban crowds to the on-ice product.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/10/2021 07:17:18 PM
Category: Hockey, Other Sports, Society
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real hot
Because obsessed fans can’t get enough, the production of Sex and the City: The Movie are, according to Chris “Mr. Big” Noth, is resorting to filming fake scenes in order to throw spoilers-hunters off the trail.

Since Noth let the cat out of the bag, I’ll submit my own confession:

That full-frontal nude sex scene starring myself and Kristin Davis, that some of you might have seen last week in the middle of Central Park? Sorry, SATC fans — that was a false lead. (An imaginary one too, I’ll admit, but I feel I’m doing my part.)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/10/2021 06:30:27 PM
Category: Movies, New Yorkin', TV
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