Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 17, 2021

One more reason for Europeans to hate us: The all-American teenage blowout that is the senior prom is taking hold in the UK, to the dismay of many.

Proms began crossing over to the United Kingdom several years ago and keep growing in popularity. Ricky Turrell, a photographer in southeast England, has 54 proms booked this year. Proms are practically a daily occurrence somewhere or other in England from May 1 till well into July.

Tom Kendall, 16, says American TV shows such as “The O.C.” and MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16″ provide a “fairy tale” view of dances and parties that British teens like. “The O.C.,” a Fox show now in reruns on Britain’s E4 channel, chronicles the life of affluent teens in Orange County, Calif. “My Super Sweet 16″ airs nearly every day in Britain, showing teens preparing for lavish birthday parties.

Oh right, like the British need pointers on how to make fussy showoffs of themselves.

I’m thinking the UK might get expelled from the EU as a result of this, as a socio-educational quarantine. I’m not sure continental Europe can absorb a widespread prom season; the strain on the euro would be catastrophic.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/17/2008 11:38:48 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Society
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback

Done and done: I dropped some linkage on Golden Moon Tea, and they UPSed me four sample packets of loose-leaf oolong tea:

- Coconut Pouchong
- Orchid Temple Oolong
- Imperial Formosa Oolong
- Sugar Caramel Oolong

And on my birthday, too. Nice (if entirely coincidental) timing.

Disclosure: I’m pawning off that coconut-flavored stuff, as I don’t like coconut (even if it’s only the flavoring). But I’ll definitely brew the others in the coming weeks.

Unfortunately, they didn’t send me that tricked-out mug infuser thing that I hinted at. My powers of persuasion could use some work.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/17/2008 11:22:57 PM
Category: Food, Internet
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback

No one gets a gold star for predicting the backlash over the Associated Press’ cease-and-desist action over blog reproduction of portions of AP content, because it’s a familiar knee-jerk reaction.

And as many have already pointed out, calls for boycotting AP material are hollow, precisely because the boycotters don’t actually pay for the stuff in the first place. The idea that reproduction of articles via a million blogs leading to greater exposure and benefit for the AP is so much nonsense, too. Besides, given that bloggers as a group are notoriously lazy, they’re not going to hunt through Google News results for that hard-to-find non-AP writeup to use in their linkage citations; they’ll use today’s news of guideline development between the news organization and professional bloggers as an excuse to announce a “victory” and a subsequent return to business-as-usual.

But here’s the basic breakdown for why the AP is (mostly) in the right on this:

- Copy-and-paste techniques result in keyword seeding on the blog reproducing the content. If that blog is being indexed by Google and the other search engines, and its running AdSense and other relevance-triggered ad displays, that converts to money. And it’s a zero-sum game: Visitors drawn to that blog get diverted from an AP member news site, and the potential revenue from an ad click-through is lost by the legit AP source. That’s the heart of this, and why even a portion of the content copied is significant.

- Regardless of the purposes of copy-and-pasting an entire article — strictly for the writer’s reference, avoidance of linkrot to the original source — it amounts to public republication, intentional or not.

So what’s the acceptable limit? I try to be careful when blockquoting referencing material, with a mind to keeping what’s in my post as short as possible. I do that both to keep my recap as succinct as possible (while preserving the gist of the citation), and to keep from simply copying someone else’s work. But I’m aware that even a snippet that consists of a couple of sentences is enough to draw the searchbots, and affects what appears in my AdSense boxes. So yeah, I’m as “guilty” as Drudge Retort or any other blogger, although the degree varies.

In this light, I’m wondering if the search engines need to get involved. If content is enclosed in the [blockquote] formatting, that should suggest that it’s not originally-produced by that blog/site; maybe that’s a tag for indexbots to ignore or deemphasize it for search/monetization purposes? It won’t be a perfect solution, by a long shot, because most bloggers won’t adhere to even minor strictures, but it’s a level of examination worth exploring.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/17/2008 02:00:19 PM
Category: Bloggin', Media
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback

When it comes to teenagers and jokes, veiled context can fall flatter than flat:

I’m making a sandwich for dinner. My 17 year old daughter, Amber, and her boyfriend, John, are standing nearby. I decide to tell a joke.

Me: “So this woman goes into a bar and asks the bartender for a double entendre. So he gave it to her.”

Amber: [stares]

John: “What?”

Me: “Nevermind”

I’m not saying I’d necessarily get the double-flip meaning at first, either. But given a few seconds, I think I’d catch on. And then, of course, I’d have one.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/17/2008 12:09:32 PM
Category: Comedy
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback

At the moment, there’s no easy way for me to dig back through this blog’s archives to find the last time I let a day go by without at least one post published. I’m pretty sure it was a looooong time before yesterday’s lapse. (UPDATE: See below)

Oh well. Streaks end eventually. It stings only a little, in that a commitment to daily posting 365/7 is pretty much the sole rule I maintain on this site. But it was out of my hands. It seems that while Time Warner Cable was preparing a debt offering ahead of its anticipated spin-off from Time Warner as an independent public company, it let my TV/Internet pipe go black. The connection was cut last night at about 6:30, just as I was wrapping up a fairly productive workday from home; as of this writing, it’s still down.

I could have trekked out last night to a *$ and tried my luck, but it was storming (which I’m assuming was the reason for my outage), and it didn’t seem like an imperative. I crossed my fingers for a restoral, but by the time 10PM rolled around, I figured it was a longshot to get the television and the Web back again before midnight. So I lived with it, and am starting a new streak with this post.

Hopefully I’m back online sometime today. As always, it’s a brutal shock as to how dependent you become on modern communications infrastructure.

Meanwhile, today is my birthday. Thought I’d mention that. I guess I’m ushering in my 37th year slightly off the grid — a form of nostalgia…

UPDATE: Well, now I really feel the sting of failure. I checked, and it looks like this was the first day’s lapse since an extended absence between December 12th, 2006 and January 17th, 2007. That was due to major technical problems with my former webhosting company, which led me to my current host company. So basically, a year and a half of consistency down the tubes…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/17/2008 11:37:06 AM
Category: Bloggin', Business, New Yorkin'
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback (2)