Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, April 14, 2021

Don’t look now, but our petroleum imports may someday have a Portuguese accent attached to them:

[Brazil oil ministry head Haroldo] Lima told reporters that Petrobras “may have discovered a huge petroleum field that could contain reserves large as 33 billion barrels,” amounting to the world’s third-largest reserve, according to his spokesman, Luiz Fernando Manso.

Manso did not provide any details about where Lima got his information, except to say it came from “nonofficial, non-confirmed sources.” Brazil Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao declined comment.

Lima’s agency regulates Brazil’s oil industry, and his comments appeared to represent confirmation of what experts have long suspected: That extremely deep exploration areas hundreds of miles (kilometers) off the nation’s coast may hold potentially huge reserves.

Brazil’s current proven oil reserves are 11.8 billion barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Department. The U.S. has 21.8 billion barrels in proven reserves.

“You’re talking about a reserve the size of total U.S. reserves,” said Tim Evans, an analyst with Citigroup Inc. in New York. “It’s a big, big number.”

If this proves out, it means a new geopolitical dance is about to begin, with South America being the stage. And OPEC’s flirting with Brazil for membership will only intensify.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/14/2008 11:59:43 PM
Category: Business, Political
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Combine videogames and symphony orchestras and you get Virtural Conductor, a Guitar Hero for the budding classical music appreciator.

No, wait — I forgot. Actually, what you really get when you combine videogames and orchestras is gaming soundtracks recast as classical arrangements, complete with laserlight shows. Which I suppose you could work into Virtual Conductor, thus attuning it more closely to gamer sensibilities.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/14/2008 11:36:39 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Videogames
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Rabid fanboys can splice together the raddest scenes from the raddest movies evahh and get that self-satisfying feeling.

But what do those labors come to? Nothing. Because supercutting reached its peak back in 2001. That’s when artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy did a massive deconstruction of the entire series run of “Starsky and Hutch”, and cobbled together the resulting elements into the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s installation piece, “Every Shot, Every Episode”:

Lodged in the subconscious of an entire generation, the McCoys’ banal source material is subjected to the nonlinear, nonnarrative logic of the computer database, grouped typologically by structural technique (every zoom in, every special effect), stock character (alcoholic, bookie), or action (car chase, drug use). Both novel and traditional, “Every Shot, Every Episode” is a witty and thorough critique of media imagery, a portable reference guide for those raised and reared by television, and an updated version of a tradition as old as photography itself.

I mean, really. Why try to improve upon this perfection with a rapid-fire compilation of Scarface “fucks”? It’s like dissecting gossamer, I tell you.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/14/2008 11:09:19 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin', TV
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Like everyone else, I had always thought that Jack Handey — of “Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey” fame — was nothing more than another “Saturday Night Live” character. Moreover, I’m not sure I ever distinguished between Phil Hartman’s opening intro and the following voiceover, so I guess I assumed that the whole skit was a Hartman comedy piece.

Turns out that he’s all too real, despite himself:

Handey, 59, lives in Santa Fe, N.M., with his wife, Marta, who is also his editor. But that is a much too specific existence for many to accept. For years, some fans assumed he was only a character, a disembodied voice that soothingly read “Deep Thoughts” in the guise of the implausibly named “Jack Handey.”

Handey, though, hasn’t exactly discouraged this perception. In one of his “Martians” pieces — “How I Want to Be Remembered” — he eulogizes himself: “Jack was an expert in so many fields, it’s hard to say what he was best at: the arts, the sciences, or the businesses.”

“SNL” is generally reluctant to use a writer’s name, preferring to keep the focus on the performers. Handey, though, eventually won the honor, thanks to the strength of his work on penning such sketches as “Unfrozen Cave Man Lawyer.”

“The irony is that people think Jack Handey is a made-up name,” says Handey. “You can’t win is the lesson.”

I think all of comedy teaches you that lesson, actually.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 04/14/2008 09:44:15 PM
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, TV
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