Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, November 21, 2021

On the Metro North train ride up this evening, I had the misfortune of being well within smelling distance of a heavily-cologned passenger.

Given the holiday, I figured someone made like a clean-shaven jive turkey and basted himself in the unmistakably pungent scent of Old Spice. Welcome to Thanksgiving 1977…

I wasn’t bothered for long. Either he moved on at some point, or else my nose got acclimated to it, because I didn’t notice it after a while. The olfactory time-warp ended.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/21/2007 10:27:33 PM
Category: General
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Tis the season for turducken!

It is a chicken stuffed inside a duck which is then stuffed inside a turkey. The term turducken comes from the combination of tur(key), duck, and (chick)en. It is fast becoming a popular recipe for Thanksgiving. Each slice contains portions of chicken, duck, and turkey with stuffing in between the layers.

I dunno how “fast” that popularity is spreading. I suggested this unholy trinity of poultry for my familial Thanksgiving, but was quickly shouted down (yes, literally… and no, I’m not being serious). My godbrother is reportedly serving it up, though, so I might have to visit there for some of their leftovers.

The concoction of the name “turducken” is clever enough. But is it the right moniker? A ladyfriend of mine named Angela, upon my informing her of this dish, thought “chuckey” was more appropriate: Reversing the word-meld order of ch(icken), (d)uck, and (turk)ey. In other words, looking at the Frankenbird from the inside-out, instead of the turducken-ed outside-in.

Unfortunately for Angela, I think “turducken” is here to stay. But maybe people can start dubbing their main course with the friendlier “chuckey”, just before commencing the carve.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/21/2007 10:11:22 PM
Category: Food, Wordsmithing
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When it was pointed out how Facebook’s new Social Ads program likely is playing fast-and-loose with users’ privacy and consent, I considered the issue to be, ultimately, too abstract to faze the majority of Facebookers. As long as it didn’t detract from user experience, the behind-the-scenes swapping of sensitive demographic info between Facebook and other companies wouldn’t register.

Well, it turns out the process isn’t so behind-the-scenes, thanks to a marketing-feed app called Beacon:

The new program lets companies tap ongoing conversations by alerting users about friends’ activities through the feeds. About 40 Web sites have decided to embed a free tool from Facebook, known as a Beacon, to enable the marketing feeds.

The idea is that if users see a friend buy or do something, they’d take that action as an endorsement for a movie, a band or a soft drink.

But it also raises privacy concerns.

Mike Mayer, for instance, saw a feed item saying his boyfriend, Adam Sofen, just bought tickets to “No Country For Old Men” from movie-ticket vendor Fandango.

“What if I was seeing ‘Fred Claus’?” said Sofen, 28. “That would have been much more embarrassing. At least this was a prestigious movie.”

Embarrassment is one thing. But I’m betting these social-network butterflies would get even more peeved at the prospect of a spoiled surprise:

“People should be given much more of a notice, much more of an alert,” said Matthew Helfgott, 20, a college student who discovered his girlfriend just bought him black leather gloves from Overstock for Hanukkah. “She said she had no idea [information would be shared]. She said it invaded her privacy.”

This is what it’ll come down to: Dead-simple practical examples of what happens when your online persona is tracked. If Facebookers find out they can’t buy something — a present, a book, whatever — and not have their online friends find out indiscriminately, then it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they’re going to start leaving the site.

I figured the online generation knew no boundaries in their disregard for personal disclosure, but this episode looks to be the virtual brick wall. Facebook is practically sabotaging itself out of relevance by sticking with this format, and I’ll be shocked if it doesn’t move quickly (i.e., the next few days) to start implementing opt-outs to quell this.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/21/2007 09:42:59 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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