Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, June 05, 2021

I like cats, and I really like…

Well, let’s just say there’s something I like about the “Cats ‘n’ Racks” category of the otherwise-supersugary Cute Overload blog. Part of that something could be a definition of “cats” that’s broad enough to include ferrets. (Oh, wait — polecats. Now I get it.)

Or maybe it’s the feline groping:

Who knew borderline bestiality could be so darn cute?

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/05/2021 10:49:59 PM
Category: Bloggin', Comedy, Women
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What you see above these words is Tom McMahon’s unique eulogy for the recently-departed Harvey Korman.

I admit I can’t quite figure it out. I mean, yes, I recognize the post title, “That Voodoo”, as referring to Korman’s brilliant turn in the brilliant Blazing Saddles. And I can even tell that the image is derived from Hedy Hedley Lamarr’s triumphant pose at the conclusion of his pledge-leading. Also, I recognize the tip of the hat to Cole Porter’s original lyrics.

But what’s with the abstract-pixelated representation? It’s ghost-like, which maybe is the intent. Maybe this is the end result of that voodoo to do so well.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/05/2021 06:45:56 PM
Category: Bloggin', Celebrity, Movies, Pop Culture
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Baseball geeks can rejoice in the Supreme Court’s decision to let stand lower-court rulings that allow the use of player stats as free public-domain information, thus keeping non-MLB-sanctioned fantasy sites in business.

But in a parallel universe where the nation’s high court did a 180 and sided with the big leagues’ contention of ownership over the numbers, the far-reaching repercussions would have led to backlash-fueled armageddon for the Big Three team sports.

And a surprising ascendancy for their big-league weak sister:

The NHL bucked the trend and refused to claim sole possession of their stats. John snickered as he remembered a time when the NHL was considered the “fifth” major sport.

In the last five years, hockey had soared in popularity, and most kids could name just about every starter on every team in the league. “Hockey Night with Harold Reynolds” on Versus finished in the top five most weeknights in the 18-to-35 demographic. Eric Karabell’s article, “The Year Radim Vrbata Wasn’t Worth $36″ set a record for ESPN.com page views. John even had a framed print in his room of Gary Bettman famously standing in front of the Rocky statue in Philadelphia, taken as the commissioner delivered a stirring speech against leagues charging media outlets for the use of their statistics.

A double-shot of alternate-reality funny: Harold Reynolds finding on-air redemption via the ice, and the stat-head’s underlying belief that all hockey needs to boost its mindshare among Americans is an uncontested supply of boxscore filler.

That said, WSJ.com’s Nando Di Fino did set off my annual hankering for re-engagement into Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey, albeit a tad early.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/05/2021 01:59:57 PM
Category: Baseball, Comedy, Creative, Hockey, SportsBiz
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This recently-released study by Northeastern University that tracked 100,000 cellphone users in an anonymous (but industrialized and, presumably, U.S.-comparable) country has rightly raised concerns over privacy. It’s also highlighted how predictable people are:

It also yielded somewhat surprising results that reveal how little people move around in their daily lives. Nearly three-quarters of those studied mainly stayed within a 20-mile-wide circle for half a year… The study found that nearly half of the people in the study pretty much keep to a circle little more than six miles wide and that 83 percent of the people tracked mostly stay within a 37-mile wide circle.

I’m not sure how surprising that is, as a traditional demographic rule-of-thumb holds that 80 percent of people grow up to live within a 20 mile radius of where they were born. Just how accurate that metric is, especially in the post-WWII United States, is questionable, but probably not that far off base (I have no doubt it’s right on the money on a global scale). Even though everyone knows someone who’s moved long distances from their birthplace, in most areas the locals tend to stick around; a single high school reunion often makes that clear. I think it’s another case of the exceptions standing out so distinctly that they disguise the forest of folks who do the unremarkable by staying put.

There’s not a direct line of comparison between day-to-day movement and full relocations, but it’s certainly related on a higher level.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/05/2021 08:53:04 AM
Category: Science, Society, Tech
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