Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, November 11, 2021

The Web being the Web, it’s not at all surprising to find a picture guide on how to wipe your ass.

It’s a bit more surprising to come across empirical interview queries on preferred personal techniques on what to do right after you Number Two.

The upshit upshot: From a sample polling pool of 259 people, most did the old clean-up duty while sitting (versus standing up), and the majority negotiated the move with a front-to-back motion (versus the opposite, and somewhat counter-intuitive, back-to-front direction). There’s a gender split in this informal survey, but the imbalance between male and female totals (two-and-a-half more men than women) makes any assumptions there dubious.

Were my blog anonymously-authored, I’d divulge where my personal toilet habits fall within this breakdown. But since my name’s attached to these words, I’m opting out of this scatological study.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/11/2021 06:08:18 PM
Category: Society
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When I learned of the parlor game called Mafia recently, I didn’t remember the rules covering a mobster perversion of the 10 Commandments.

That’s what Italian police uncovered in Sicily last week, and here’s the translated rundown:

1. No one can present himself directly to another of our friends. There must be a third person to do it.

2. Never look at the wives of friends.

3. Never be seen with cops.

4. Don’t go to pubs or clubs.

5. Always being available for Cosa Nostra is a duty, even if your wife’s about to give birth.

6. Appointments must absolutely be respected.

7. Wives must be treated with respect.

8. When asked for information, the answer must be the truth.

9. Money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others or to other families.

10. People who can’t be part of Cosa Nostra: anyone who has a close relative in the police, anyone with a two-timing relative in the family, anyone who behaves badly and doesn’t have moral values.

“Moral values”… The jokes just write themselves.

Actually, this makes being a gangster sound pretty stilted. No bars or clubs? No lying? Punctuality? You might as well be an accountant or something. And what’s with the “money cannot be appropriated if it belongs to others” — this suggests Mafia can’t steal? I’m thinking there’s plenty of grey areas in the rules of this game.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/11/2021 02:26:05 PM
Category: True Crime
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It might smack of negative reinforcement, but the “Savings Bomb” piggy bank should nudge shame-averse Japanese to habitually save their yen:

[From] toy manufacturer TOMY Co Ltd., [the bank is] designed as a cartoon-style, ball-shaped black bomb with a skull and crossbones logo, [and] lights up, makes a noise, shakes violently and scatters coins if it is not topped up for a long time.

“Users must pick up and collect the scattered coins and reflect on their laziness,” the Japanese company said

That’s an explosion? Sounds more like a hissy-fit bomb. More of a bomb-blast detonation, resulting in some collateral damage inside the typical Japanese cramped living quarters, would make a bigger impression. But that would then require the offender to further deplete his/her savings by having to pay to clean up the damage — sort of a catch-22, I suppose.

Maybe instead of the insidious-sounding “Savings Bomb”, TOMY should have named this “Bank of Death”. Both because it’s geared toward encouraging Japanese to amass more individual savings (to lessen the state’s social-services burden as Japan’s population gets collectively older), and because it would make a perfect companion piece to the previously-released, positive-reinforcing “Bank of Life” fun-bank.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/11/2021 01:45:00 PM
Category: Creative, Tech
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fresh meat
I get the sense that artiste-provocateur Damien Hirst won’t be invited to any PETA rallies anytime soon. On the heels of having his dead-shark opus, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hirst is unveiling another animal-carcass art installation in New York, this one specially-commissioned for the lobby of the landmark Lever House building at Park and 54th.

Yes, there’s a dead shark in this one, too. But that’s just the start:

Lining the entire lobby will be some 15 medicine cabinets (a past theme for Mr. Hirst) filled with thousands of empty boxes and bottles with labels for antidepressants, cough medicine and other drugs. The 30 sheep are lined up in rows of formaldehyde-filled tanks, evoking docile schoolchildren in a classroom.

Submerged in a 12-foot-tall tank are two sides of beef, a chair, a chain of sausages, an umbrella and a birdcage with a dead dove. Mr. Hirst describes it as an homage to Francis Bacon’s 1946 “Painting” at the Museum of Modern Art, which depicts cow carcasses suspended in a crucifix shape.

Mr. Hirst said the installation — which cost $1 million to assemble — is in fact a nod to a host of modern artists. “We’ve got everybody in here,” he said. There is Dan Flavin (the strips of fluorescent lighting); Warhol (the notion of repetition, as in the rows of dead sheep); Joseph Cornell (the boxes encasing the dead animals); Jannis Kounellis, who uses live birds in his work; and René Magritte, who painted an egg in a bird cage.

For the record, none of the critters were ritually slaughtered at the altar of Hirst; all the meat used was already butchered and destined for food when it was artistically detoured.

I really think Hirst should branch out a bit. He should buy one of those veggie party platters — jumbo-sized, of course — and try his hand at herbivorous arrangements. Try signifying nihilistic decay with a broccoli floret!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/11/2021 11:51:09 AM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin'
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