Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, March 02, 2021

Last week, I dropped a casual mention of how widespread telephony is these days, thanks to the proliferation of wireless phones into corners of the globe where telecommunications traditionally had lagged.

As it happens, the United Nations-sponsored International Telecommunication Union backs up my anecdotal note. Its latest research pegs 60 percent of the world population in possession of a cellphone, with the growth rate coming from the Third World:

“There has been a clear shift to mobile cellular telephony,” the agency said, noting that developing countries now account for about two-thirds of cellphones in use. In 2002, less than half of mobile subscriptions globally were in the developing world, it said.

And it’s strictly telephone capability that’s spreading — Internet access and other telecom services are also increasing worldwide, but at a much slower rate. Basically, a technology that was invented more than 130 years ago is finally become something close to ubiquitous. Puts things in perspective.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/02/2021 08:43:48 PM
Category: Society, Tech
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I had heard about the infamous 32-foot-high “Blue Mustang” sculpture on display at Denver International Airport. I knew it was a polarizing piece of public art.

But I didn’t know that it was inspiring haiku poems:

Anxiously I fly
Apocalyptic hell beast
Fails to soothe my nerves.

Local artists and city public art administrators say “Blue Mustang” has stirred a deeper debate too, about Denver itself, and what sort of image it wants to communicate. Is “Blue Mustang” an echo of the city’s high-plains bronco-busting past? Or a mocking denunciation of the Old West conventions? Or is it just strange?

“People can’t put their finger on what’s it’s conveying,” said Joni Palmer, who is finishing a doctoral dissertation on politics and public art in Denver. “It’s the strangeness that really unnerves people — this mix of things.”

As another of the haiku writers put it:

Big blue horse beckons
Fiery, red eyes glowering
Good bye one horse town.

Ride ‘em cowboys…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/02/2021 08:03:43 PM
Category: Creative
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It’s come to this: Foreclosure-ravaged St. Lucie County in Florida is in such bad socio-economic shape that its government is equating the impact to a hurricane or other disastrous event, and therefore is contemplating an official “disaster area” declaration in order to free up recovery bucks.

“This is a manmade disaster,” County Commissioner Doug Coward acknowledged. But he said that is why “we’ve got to do something. Clearly, the economic crisis of the country far exceeds the ability of local governments to solve it, but we’re trying be a part of the solution.”

The declaration would act like a mini-stimulus plan, giving government officials access to a $17.5 million county fund usually reserved for natural disasters…

Jacqueline Byers, research director for the National Association of Counties, said she knows of no other U.S. county that is contemplating such a move.

“Everybody is kind of foundering around. Counties are looking for ways to address their shortfalls. This might be an innovative way to do it,” she said.

Yes, “innovative”. Why stop with a dinky bedroom community in South Florida? Just declare Wall Street a disaster area, thus giving the green light to inject billions of dollars into various institutions…

Oh, right — I guess the country-wide disaster area was already declared a few months back…

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 03/02/2021 06:37:49 PM
Category: Business, Florida Livin', Society
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