Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, February 03, 2021


Headset Hotties is a bare-bones, and blatant, attempt to cash in (via AdSense clickthrus) on the low-level fascination over the homogenous stock-photo models featured on random customer-support websites.

And I really wish I had thought of it first.

Too bad that it is such a simply-structured site: Basic WordPress install and template, no apparent categorization or tagging, no commenting, etc. No way to sort through the inevitable repeat performances across different ads of particular models, like the once-infamous Everywhere Girl.

Note that the term “hotties” is gender-neutral. So, while the majority of the featured support staff consists of nice-looking females, there is room for perhaps the most notorious TV infomercial dude currently sporting a plastic headset.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/03/2021 07:01pm
Category: Comedy, Internet, Photography, Women
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Lately, I’ve been getting emails from a few different people who close their correspondence with a “J”.

I figured this was a new-fangled addition to the emoticon dictionary. Indeed, the sideways letter-J does suggest a sly type of smile symbol (almost a smirk, really), minus the colon, semi-colon or whatever else to represent the eyes for face-completion. So I started to think that this “J” signaled a further deconstruction down from the what-was-supposed-to-be-basic two-character visual/textual hybrid, to a single keystroke connoting both cheerfulness and lack of time/patience to type even one more key.

Alas, it looks like I over-analyzed the situation:

I’ve been getting some emails lately at my personal Gmail account from people at Microsoft with a freestanding “J” or “L” at the end of some sentences… emoticon-like syntax and placement, but more cryptic… I thought I had missed the memo on some new internet meme or shorthand, but it turns out it’s just a “feature” of how Outlook translates some standard emoticons into images.

So the effect is totally unintended. Just two sets of software not speaking to one another properly (in my case, my Yahoo! Mail receiving unnecesssarily-processed Outlook-sent messages).

However… I can see this spawning the actual use of “J” as a next-stage emoticon, for the reasons cited above. That, and the ubiquity of Outlook making the occurrence of this “new” emoticon more familiar to more people in short time. It’ll be a case of unintended consequences creating a whole new means of expression.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/03/2021 02:55pm
Category: Internet
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staged stations
I’ve already been to a theater production staged in the Central Park public bathrooms, so I guess I could handle one that takes place on the platforms and trains of the No. 4 line, from downtown Brooklyn all the way to 125th Street in Harlem.

“Tonight, these platforms will be our playhouse,” [lead actor Jim] Ford, wearing a tuxedo and a handlebar mustache, told an audience gathered on a Brooklyn subway platform during the prologue. “Conductors will manage our stage. The sound designer is a passing train, and these fluorescents light our way.”

About 30 people, dressed for the occasion in their Broadway best, had bought tickets at $10 apiece… They were told by e-mail where in Brooklyn to pick up their tickets. Once there, they met a young woman dressed in a conductor’s uniform who directed them to a nearby train station, where the play began. (In an effort to prevent overcrowding and people sneaking into one of the performances, [writer-director Jeff] Stark will reveal the pickup location and start of the theater route only to those who buy tickets.)

Of course, people who had not paid $10 but had presumably purchased a MetroCard got a chance to glimpse snippets of the production. At the first train station in downtown Brooklyn, audience members — as well as everyday riders — were greeted by a tour guide and music by four musicians dressed as members of a turn-of-the-20th-century Salvation Army band in long gray coats.

The play itself, “IRT: A Tragedy in Three Stations”, is a fanciful retelling of the connivances behind the construction of the Interborough Rapid Transit, New York’s first-ever subway:

Witness the Exploding Fire of Passion igniting the Heart of industry as an opulent Oligarch clashes with the brick & fists of Mighty Unions! Who will bend? Who will break? Descend into the Heart of the City with Night Workers of the Iron Road as they maintain the Subterranean Marvel that ever shall rumble beneath the Feet of Millions.

Sounds like fun! Other than the crowding, the smell, the cold, the rushing around… Well, like I said: If I could take the Central Park toilet theater, the quirks of a subway setting should be a piece of cake.

Unfortunately, the rest of the play’s limited run is sold out. I’ll have to settle for the random, unstaged underground theatrics that my daily MetroCard swipe affords me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/03/2021 11:27am
Category: Creative, History, New Yorkin'
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Leave it to Chaz to come up with a fitting euphonism for the end result of workplace fatigue:

…Further, HR types with no sense of humor will not be impressed with some of my responses to stock questions: more than once I have answered “Why did you leave your last position?” with “mutual illness.” Asked to explain this, I said: “I was sick of them, and they were sick of me.”

“Mutual illness”. I like it. Sorta reminds me of the Cold War strategic nuclear doctrine dubbed Mutually Assured Destruction, or MAD. Good doctrine to apply to the job-termination scenario, too: Someone’s usually mad as a result, and the destruction is mutual, in the sense that ex-employee and ex-boss are often effectively dead to one another.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 02/03/2021 09:48am
Category: Business, Comedy, History, Politics, Society
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