Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, February 25, 2021

on the sixes
Funny thing about Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Boyle and the freshly-inked contract that keeps him off the trade and free agent market:

TSN has learned that the deal will pay Boyle $6.66 million per year for six years [for a total of $40 million].

Sure, business is business, but that 6-6-6 per year is unusually satanic.

What’s more, the incoming new owner of the Lightning happens to be one Oren Koules, Hollywood producer best known for the Saw horror-flick franchise. It’s been acknowledged that Koules has been given the greenlight to make personnel decisions ahead of officially closing on the sale, so Boyle’s contract doubtless had his final approval.

So, did Koules engineer that mark-of-the-beast dollar figure, as some sort of subtle movie-marketing tie-in? Will every Lightning contract during the Koules era have some nefarious subtext attached to it?

I’m happy for Boyle’s bank account, but scared for his soul.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/25/2008 11:41 PM
Category: Hockey, Movies
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You’d think the prospect of cruising down the road without parental supervision would be incentive enough for America’s teenagers to want to get their drivers’ licenses as soon as possible. I know it was when I was coming of age.

Alas, today’s adolescents are a different breed, content to be chauffeured practically until the brink of adulthood:

The national rate of licensed 16-year-olds dropped to 29.8 percent in 2006 from 43.8 percent in 1998, according to the Federal Highway Administration.

The falling rate of teenage drivers is perplexing to Michael T. Marsden, an expert on car culture and dean of St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis.

“It’s a big change in a major American ritual of driving as early as possible,” Mr. Marsden said.

What would be the longer term implications? Does this suggest that youngsters are not as car-obsessed as prior generations, and therefore might not be as receptive to the frequent new-car pitches from the auto industry? If so, carmakers might want to start revising their marketing strategies now, to counter a more challenging consumer market a few years from now?

Then again, it’s not like the majority of these deferring drivers can avoid getting behind the wheel indefinitely. They’re going to move out of their helicopter-parent cocoons sooner or later, and outside of New York and a couple of other concentrated urban cores, they’re going to need to drive to survive. So maybe the true longer-term impact will be… Even lousier drivers on the road, given that they’ll have had less experience?

I’m glad I don’t need to drive daily anymore. I’ll keep my Rollerblades nearby just in case.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/25/2008 11:18 PM
Category: Society
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voofPolice dogs in Germany will soon be stylin’ some serious footwear. Duesseldorf is outfitting its canine crime-fighters with blue plastic-fiber shoes for protection:

“All 20 of our police dogs — German and Belgian shepherds — are currently being trained to walk in these shoes,” Andre Hartwich said. “I’m not sure they like it, but they’ll have to get used to it.”

The unusual footwear is not a fashion statement, Hartwich said, but rather a necessity due to the high rate of paw injuries on duty. Especially in the city’s historical old town — famous for both its pubs and drunken revelers — the dogs often step into broken beer bottles.

Hmm. Wasn’t Hitler a dog lover? Just sayin’.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 02/25/2008 10:31 PM
Category: Comedy, History, Political
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