Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, September 26, 2021

The streets of New York are wet with intrigue, thanks to StreetWars, a 24/7/3-week watergun (and waterballoon) assassination tournament.

I just made this fool pursuit sound a lot cooler than it actually is:

When StreetWars started on Sept. 7, each of the 250-plus contestants was handed a black envelope marked “Shadow Government,” with the name, home address, workplace, e-mail, cellphone number and photograph of a player to kill by squirting. After each kill, the shooter acquires the dead rival’s target and begins stalking this new person, all the while looking over a shoulder for whoever is hunting him. It is permissible to shoot in self-defense.

“I told my doorman that if he sees anyone suspicious with a water pistol, then he’s not to let them in the building,” [participant Michael] Deane said.

He shaved the beard he wore for the picture his pursuer is carrying. He is considering borrowing a wheelchair to use as part of a disguise. By Friday morning, he had logged four kills; he was one of 16 players left. “I’ve been walking around like a crazy person,” he said, “wondering when they’re going to get me.”

You’d think today’s all-day rainstorm would have served as a contextual nuclear bomb, wetting the remaining players to kingdom come, and thus ending this idiocy.

I’ll pass the same judgment on this that I did for the all-too-similar airgun wargames. Fun’s fun, but actually stalking people and living evasively is taking things wayyyyyy too far. If you have this much time in your life to burn, your goals probably should be more advanced than super-soaking some stranger for a shot at 500 bucks.

FURTHER THOUGHTS: In hindsight, I really should have headlined this post as “AQUASSASSINS”. Except that it looks weird that way.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/26/2008 07:04:55 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin'
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Can it be true? Is the venerable Tappan Zee Bridge heading for mothballs, to be replaced by a new $16-billion Westchester-to-Rockland span?

Officials said the bridge itself would cost $6.4 billion. A high-speed bus corridor running from Suffern to Port Chester would cost $2.9 billion. And it would cost an additional $6.7 billion to build a new rail line that would go from the Metro-North station in Suffern and across the bridge, connecting with Metro-North’s Hudson Line south of Tarrytown…

[New York State transportation commissioner Astrid C.] Glynn said that if the state could stick to what she described as an aggressive schedule, construction could begin as early as 2012 and the bridge could open four or five years after that. She said plans call for the bus corridor to be opened at the same time. The rail component could take much longer, but the bridge would be built with room for trains to cross.

In the midst of a financial meltdown, I wonder how realistic a project of this scale is, even projecting deep into next decade. Given the growing acceptance of roadway privatization, I’m betting the state hires some outside firm to maintain and toll the new bridge. Most likely a foreign company, since the most experienced firms in this sphere are based in Europe. Expect much hand-wringing to follow that decision.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/26/2008 05:58:41 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Politics
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Between the rainy-lousy weather and my schedule, I couldn’t steal away to the 2nd anniversary Jelly session in Williamsburg today.

I wish I had, if only to meet-and-greet with Jennifer Daniels, who’s got the most eye-poppingest, non-Flash (thankfully!) graphic-design website I’ve seen in a long while. The crawly little bug animated gif, above, is but one example of her work.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/26/2008 05:29:48 PM
Category: Comedy, Creative, Internet, New Yorkin'
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leak the ice
Britney Spears has a new album, “Circus”, dropping on December 2nd, 2008 — her 27th birthday.

The first single is “Womanizer”, and it’s been released on the radio and Web. Including a “leaked” version.

Except it’s not really leaked. Judging from the source link for the song’s MP3 (which you’re free to download, even if it’s only a relatively low-fi 128kbps), it’s actually coming from Clear Channel Radio’s common online repository for music tracks. I know, because the same “naked” Akami-hosted link structure was used for last year’s online tease of Britney’s “Gimme More” single.

When the “Gimme More” easy-download thing appeared, I figured it was simply carelessness on the part of the radio stations. But twice in a row now, along with that fake leak site? Obviously, this is an intentional stealth release of a free MP3, solely to generate pre-release viral buzz. Secret revealed, with mucho album sales surely to follow.

As for how Britney’s latest jam sounds: Pretty good. I’m always a fan of hard-edged electro dance. But as with most of Ms. Spears’ music, I’m going to wait for the “Womanizer” dance remixes, preferably extended-length cuts.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 09/26/2008 11:00:56 AM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, Internet, Pop Culture, Radio
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