Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, January 11, 2021

I caught Clerks the other day on cable, the first time I’ve seen it in ages. Long enough that I’d forgotten about this, the hilarious “Olaf, Berserker!” scenes:

And what’s even more hilarious is that someone actually set up a website called “Did he just say ‘Making Fuck?’”, complete with lyrics:

My love for you is like a truck, Berserker
Would you like some making fuck, Berserker

That’s beautiful, man. And fuck your Yankee bluejeans, too.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/11/2021 07:20:41 PM
Category: Comedy, Internet, Movies, Pop Culture
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How harrowing is it to drive the ribbons of concrete that make up New Jersey’s highway system? Enough so that some residents refuse to take them, opting for the slower-going back roads.

They are somewhat justified:

“New Jersey highways have a reputation for being freewheeling cowboy country,” said David Weinstein, a spokesman for the AAA clubs of New Jersey. “People are in a hurry to get where they’re going, and the laws be damned.”

And if New Jersey’s highways seem unusually bad — they are.

The problem is that the state’s transportation network was retrofitted, after New Jersey was already settled, said Daniel G. Chatman, assistant professor of urban planning and policy at Rutgers University. Over time, the highways were re-engineered to fit the needs of high-speed travel, but it still left the metropolitan region with relatively narrow carriageways, a lot of hairpin turns, very short merge lanes and poor signage.

While the current standard lane width for modern Interstates is 12 feet, some of the highways in the region have lanes that are only 10 or 11 feet wide. That doesn’t leave much room when trucks are eight or nine feet wide.

That retrofitting isn’t just in northern New Jersey, either. Most of the New York metro area has tight-fit interstates that really frays your nerves. I imagine much of the Northeast is in the same pickle; I’m familiar only with the New York-New Jersey system (and tiny slivers of Connecticut and Pennsylvania).

The bulk of my highway driving was in Florida, and those roadways were built with the luxury of less population density and generally flatter land — pristine conditions that make high-speed driving a fairly smooth affair. Predictably, much of the Sunbelt had the same later-stage advantage. Although I know some of those areas also sport nightmarish auto-interchanges; in particular, the couple of times I drove through Atlanta showed me how treacherous that driving environment is.

Between that, and my infrequent driving-time now, I’m sure my highway-navigation skills have eroded to the point where I’d be better off taking the back roads now. Can’t say I’m too broken up about it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/11/2021 06:17:36 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society
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wingin' it
Don’t look now, but there’s a distinct possibility that the 43rd Super Bowl will be the first-ever Bird Bowl.

Because today’s 23-11 Philadelphia Eagles win over the Giants guarantees a bird-mascot representative from the NFC side, since the Conference Championships is now between Philly and the Arizona Cardinals, who bombed Carolina 33-13 yesterday.

On the other side, the Baltimore Ravens have their ticket punched for the AFC Championship game, with their 13-10 squeaker win over Tennessee yesterday. If they make it past whoever wins the in-progress San Diego-Pittsburgh tilt, then XLIII will be a feather-flying affair.

I’m hoping for an Eagles-Ravens matchup on February 1st. Along with the birding motif, the buildup over Philly’s subplots — Donovan McNabb’s and Andy Reid’s years-long tribulations, the Eagles’ championship drought, the city of Philadelphia continuing a path of championships after decades-long shortcomings, etc. — will make the pre-game hype more interesting than usual.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/11/2021 05:53:10 PM
Category: Football
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