Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 06, 2021

live on tape
This should be interesting: I just got a guaranteed ticket to see today’s taping of “Late Show with David Letterman”, airing tonight!

How? The weirdest sequence of events: I was walking up Broadway, killing time while getting within the vicinity of a couple of afternoon appointments. At around 50th Street, it occurred to me that I was getting close to the Ed Sullivan Theater, which reminded me of my seldom-invoked intentions of attending a Letterman taping. I dismissed today’s possibility right away, simply because I didn’t think there’d be any tickets available as late as this afternoon.

Then, I walk by a girl who’s hawking “Late Show” tickets. She’s pissed because the two guys she was already talking to were “assholes”, in her words; so she turns to me. She confirms she’s with Worldwide Pants, the show’s production arm. After some preliminaries, she hands me a confirmation form letter with my name on it. According to that slip of paper (photo of which I’ll add later, after I get home — having some issues trying to email it to myself right now), I’m guaranteed a seat in chilly Ed Sullivan! (No joke, they really do tell you ahead of time to bring a sweater; I happen to be wearing a light jacket, so I’m set.)

I have to trek back down there in about half an hour to confirm, then head back there again for the 4:30-5:30 taping. They’re not kidding about this thing eating up your whole day. Fortunately, I was able to move around my meetings for this afternoon, or else I’d have to chuck this adventure. As it is, I’m currently cooling my heels in a damned *$ on 60th.

So, hopefully, I’ll finally get to see Dave live and in person, doing his thing. According to the TV schedule, guests tonight will be Ashton Kutcher, magician Mac King (because this is, after all, Magician Week on the “Late Show”), and musical legend Steve Winwood. Not the lineup I would have picked, but it’ll do.

UPDATE: Here’s the photo proof — first the confirmation letter:

And the resultant ticket:
Well worth the sacrifice of an afternoon. I won’t bother with a show recap; you can find that here. But here’s some general impressions:

- I actually didn’t find the famously deep-frozen theater to be all that cold. I wouldn’t want to sit there in just shorts and tshirt, but in a shirt and dress pants, I was fine.

- The theater stage is surprisingly compact — looks a lot bigger on TV.

- Even though everything was live and only a few yards away, I couldn’t shake how it still looked like a televised presentation — even though I was watching with my unaided eye. I guess it was the lighting doing its job, because somehow, I didn’t get the feeling that I was really there in the same room with Dave, Paul et al.

- “Johnny Twain” may be a lame filler segment. But he can belt out “Hooked On A Feeling” with muy, muy gusto! (I’m guessing that performance won’t be making the telecast.)

- Steve Winwood rocks.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/06/2021 01:43:10 PM
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, New Yorkin', TV
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They’re no longer in Montreal, but the Washington Nationals are still saddled with a familiar problem: Anemic attendance, despite a spanking-new stadium.

Since we can’t blame a hockey-distracted populace this time around — or some sort of franchise curse — a trickle-down effect in DC’s political mechanics may be to blame for all the empty seats, particularly the highly-visible ones:

Then Jack Abramoff tried to buy off all of Washington. New lobbying laws soon followed, and now the maximum gift given to a lawmaker cannot exceed $50. Which means all the [behind home-plate] Presidential tickets – $325 for single-game ones, $335 on Saturday and $400 for the front row, all more than the best seat at Yankee Stadium, which goes for $250 – that should have gone from lobbyist to Congressman to hard-working staffer no longer exist, and the market won’t get any hotter unless the Nationals do, too.

So cleaner politics means bad business for the nation’s (alleged) pasttime in the nation’s capital. Emblematic of the times, no?

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/06/2021 09:17:01 AM
Category: Baseball, Politics
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You learn something new every day. Like about the existence of vog, a volcanic smog that’s currently plaguing the Hawaiian islands:

Kilauea on the Big Island has been erupting continuously since 1983. But in mid-March, a new vent formed at the summit, giving Kilauea two large sulfur dioxide outlets instead of one.

Sulfur dioxide, a pollutant that is also generated by burning coal and oil, can lead to asthma and other respiratory illnesses and aggravate lung and heart disease. When combined with dust and sunlight, it makes vog.

I guess the lava and debris that vulcan activity coughs up isn’t enough — air pollution completes the environmental trifecta.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/06/2021 08:52:18 AM
Category: Science, Weather
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Xobni (pronunciation above) is a software startup that makes Microsoft Outlook into something closer to user-friendly.

But, since I haven’t used a local email client of any kind in years, I don’t care too much about all that. What I do care about:

“Xobni” is “inbox” spelled backwards. Not all that original, but creative nonetheless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/06/2021 08:23:13 AM
Category: Internet, Tech
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