Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, November 21, 2021

While I appreciate that “Brooklyn” as a baby name quickly has become passe, I don’t think moving on to other New York City boroughs for offspring-tagging is the answer, as musicians Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz did with their newborn daughter, Bronx Mowgli Wentz.

I mean, what’s next? Clutches of little tykes running around called “Staten” and “Queensie”?

Actually, I could almost seen those two attaining mainstream status. But as far as NYC’s northermost borough saddling some poor kid, I have to echo the late Ogden Nash’s signature couplet:

The Bronx?
No thonx!

With that de-personalizing “the” article, almost required for any reference to “The Bronx”, making a naming-application even more thankless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/21/2008 07:25:35 PM
Category: Celebrity, New Yorkin', Pop Culture, Wordsmithing
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When Supersonicsoul posited a year-by-year attendance-trend comparison between the NHL and NBA to suggest that pro hoops were on the decline compared to its ice-rink brethren, I thought this was a subtle Seattle-fan endorsement of my suggestion to transfer the now-dormant SuperSonic brandname to a new Emerald City hockey franchise.

Alas, that’s not the case, as the blog without a team affirmed its hockey-hatin’ roots.

Still, this look into the perceived deterioration of both the quantity and quality of crowds in National Basketball Association barns prompted a predictable rallying of hockey fans around the hope of climbing a rung up the American sporting-interest ladder. To the shout of, “We’re Number 3!”, no doubt.

There’ll be enough balloon juice expelled over this topic in the days to come without me adding to the rhetoric. Just a couple of observations:

- Attendance is far from the whole ball of wax for either sport, even as much as both (especially the National Hockey League) are assumed to be “gate-driven revenue” entities. The broadcast revenue — particularly local television — is where the money is. To the point, all that on-court/on-ice advertising placement pulls in tons of cash, and the exposure of those placards on the airwaves makes them that much more valuable. Since local ratings seem to be higher lately for most teams in both leagues, I expect the revenue rankings to be about the same as they’ve ever been, i.e. NBA far ahead of the NHL.

- That said, there’s plenty of advertising/marketing opportunities, and other revenue streams, that take place within an arena, so it pays to get butts in the seats. The criticism over teams like the Detroit Red Wings offering up deep-discounted tickets (along with every other partial/free ticket giveaway in the NHL) is based upon simple ignorance of how minor the box-office sales are to “gate revenue”. It’s an equivalent to a magazine cover price, which is implicitly subsidized by the ad pages within that issue.

- An “enthusiasm gap” is more of a fandom concern than for the guys pulling in the money. Everyone bitches about how “true fans” get priced out of stadium seats in favor of blase corporate ticketholders. But in the end, it’s simple supply and demand, and pricing reflects that.

- With the sharp economic downturn now playing out, I think a lot of this debate will turn out moot soon enough. Leisure spending is somewhat immune from recessionary pressures (case in point: the big-money bonanza the New York Jets recently generated over their new-stadium PSL auction), so the effects won’t be as dramatic as team contraction and such. But it’ll certainly result in some changes in both league’s economics, mainly (no surprise) player compensation.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/21/2008 04:37:30 PM
Category: Basketball, Hockey, SportsBiz
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As much as it’s been common parlance to toss around Einstein’s most famous theorum as solid fact, it turns out that it never was conclusively proven as fact until just now:

The e=mc2 formula shows that mass can be converted into energy, and energy can be converted into mass.

By showing how much energy would be released if a certain amount of mass were to be converted into energy, the equation has been used many times, most famously as the inspirational basis for building atomic weapons.

But resolving e=mc2 at the scale of sub-atomic particles — in equations called quantum chromodynamics — has been fiendishly difficult.

“Until now, this has been a hypothesis,” France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) said proudly in a press release.

“It has now been corroborated for the first time.”

It only took a shade over one hundred years, plus a couple of atomic bomb-blasts and a nuclear-winter-shrouded Cold War to verify this key component of the Special Theory of Relativity. Just so long as we’re now certain.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/21/2008 03:25:27 PM
Category: History, Science
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As ubiquitous as throwaway contact lenses have become, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that hearing aids have also gone the disposable route.

Sorta, anyway. Songbird earpieces are more akin to reading glasses than prescription lenses — quickie solutions to problems that eventually will need more careful treatment.

Still, it makes me wonder where this physiological corrective aesthetic will go next. Disposable nosejobs (staying within the five-senses realm)? Disposable breast implants, designed for that one vacation weekend in the Bahamas? The possibilities abound…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 11/21/2008 02:57:51 PM
Category: Science
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