Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, October 30, 2021

The financial meltdown’s epicenter was Wall Street, but the ripple effects are already being felt in all strata of professional life in New York.

Including, of all things, the annual West Village Halloween Parade. The show will still go on tomorrow, but without seven major corporate sponsors, leaving the event to run at a deficit.

Thankfully, no indication that the in-parade spectacle that will be Project Bueller is affected by the economic turmoil. It’s set to go, with its very own float and everything. I’ll be there to see it, but I won’t be dancing.

To complete the atmosphere, even Matthew Broderick has been invited, via a note taped to his door. Classy! Like I said, if Ferris himself makes it out for this, it’ll truly gain higher meaning.
shake it up baby

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/30/2008 10:45 PM
Category: Business, Creative, Movies, New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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In honor of tomorrow’s Halloween merriment, I decided to cobble together a playlist of the spookiest songs I could find on my iTouch. Some might seem like a stretch — and they are — but rather than edit this down or overthink it, I’ve decided to post as is. Enjoy. Or not.

(No, strictly this doesn’t belong under the iPod Random Tracks category, since the list wasn’t Shuffled into existence. But I’m not starting a new category just for ghosts-and-ghouls season, so this’ll have to do…)

1. “And This Is What The Devil Does”, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Techno dance beat with gothic undertones, and interspersed with cheesy horror movie screams and soundclips. Solid.

2. “Ghosts (Toxic Avenger mix)”, Ladytron. Probably the least-spooky remix of this track. Still, the amped-up synth in this one lends a punch in the head to the haunting vocals from the original version.

3. “Black Cat”, Ladytron. Not particularly scary, but the title provides all the Halloweeniness necessary.

4. “Sympathy For The Devil (Who Killed The Kennedys Mix)”, Laibach. Spirited techno cover of the Rolling Stones standard. Actually some of the other Laibach remixes of this one would do better, because they feature growling demonic vocals; but this Kennedys mix has always been my favorite because of the disconcerting effect that a female lead vocalist brings.

5. “Mary Jane’s Last Dance”, Tom Petty. Seasonally mournful in tone and narrative.

6. “Rain on the Scarecrow”, John Cougar Mellencamp. Probably too serious in subject matter for Halloween hijinks, but the scarecrow image is just too perfect to not include.

7. “Peace Frog”, The Doors. With those trademark eerie keyboard sections, there are plenty of Doors standards you could conjure up for Halloween. But this one, with the persistent use of blood imagery, fits my bill.

8. “Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (MTV Unplugged session)”, Nirvana. Cobain’s cracking voice near the end puts a cherry on top of this musical horror sundae. Or something like that.

9. “Don’t Fear The Reaper”, Blue Oyster Cult. Come on baby.

10. “Torture”, KMFDM. The deep-throated vocals paired with the manic electro-chop instrumentals send a shiver down the spine.

11. “The Creeps (Fedde Le Grand Remix)”, Camille Jones. Whisper-staccato lyrics override the spritely beat.

12. “Armagideon Time”, The Clash. A lotta people running and a’hiding tonight.

13. “Run Through The Jungle”, Creedence Clearwater Revival. A gritty, creepy tone throughout, in vocals and instrumentals.

14. “Holiday in Cambodia”, Dead Kennedys. Despair set to California surf rock.

15. “All Along The Watchtower”, Jimi Hendrix. Baleful guitar licks match too perfectly with foreboding lyrics.

16. “I’m Your Boogie Man”, KC & The Sunshine Band. I realize the Rob Zombie cover remake is more scare-riffic, but I defer to disco. Besides, this one has a subtle creepiness to it.

17. “Turkish Song of the Damned”, The Pogues. Nothing like a scary sea chanty.

18. “Zero”, Smashing Pumpkins. Gloom and doom, and the band’s named after the Halloween gourd. Mark it.

19. “Psycho Killer”, Talking Heads. “Burning Down the House” might do too. In any case, can’t have a mix-list without my favorite band on it.

20. “All Tomorrow’s Parties”, Velvet Underground. This beats out “Herion” by a hair as the Velvets representation to this party, mainly thanks to Nico’s haunting vocals.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/30/2008 01:50 PM
Category: Creative, iPod Random Tracks
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The latest airline merger, between Delta and Northwest, means not only fewer birds in the air but also, as with any industry consolidation, a constriction of competition resulting in fewer cheap tickets.

But at least those still flying will have more room to roam around their arrival and departure gates, because airports around the U.S. are paradoxically expanding capacity.

The biggest miscalculations in new construction occurred in hub cities where airports spent billions to meet the needs of a single carrier, only to see the airline drastically shrink its presence.

In St. Louis, the airport authority spent $1.1 billion on a new runway that opened in 2006, even though traffic is down 53.9 percent since 2000. American Airlines dropped many flights following its acquisition of Trans World Airlines, which had been the main carrier there.

This oddly-timed phenomenon is the end result of advanced infrastructure planning:

Despite the ups and downs of the industry and individual carriers, airports need to keep modernizing, said Todd Hauptli, an executive vice president for the American Association of Airport Executives, a trade group.

“Terminal buildings are often 10-, 12-, 15-year projects,” he said. “You can’t turn the spigot on and off. You have to look out a little farther than the airlines have to, or are able to. The airport’s mission is to process the passengers and think about not just next week or next month but next year and next decade,” he said.

Granted, transportation authorities can’t predict the future. But bottom line, all that extra empty space costs money. The solution will be to repurpose that new indoor and outdoor acreage into something else, if existing and new airlines can’t fill the void. Not much else can be done with the additional runways, other than open them up to private aircraft. As for the space inside the airports: New retail opportunities, meeting spaces, etc. The air authority security hangups would be a challenge to overcome before such sites could become high-traffic areas for non-flyers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/30/2008 11:45 AM
Category: Business
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