Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, March 25, 2021

credence
When Tara hit me up about running a post to promote No Fear Energy Drink’s new Earn Some Cred promotion, I first thought: I’m too old, and not skater-shreddin’ enough, to credibly (pun intended!) pimp this skull-festooned supercaffeinated pimp juice.

But hey, it’s the Web — if nobody knows whether or not you’re a dog online, then my late-30something status shouldn’t prevent me from being an online acolyte for sugarwater intended for teenaged/young adult consumption.

Anyway, enough of my lame-assed (yet soul-sucking) rationalizations. Here’s the corpspeak pitch:

No Fear Energy has launched its first-ever under the tab code promotion — Earn Some Cred. You crack open specially marked cans of No Fear Energy drink, find the code under the tab, enter that code at earnsomecred.com and start earning cred for No Fear gear or if you’re super lucky, instantly win the VIP Credentials for 1 of 8 once-in-a-lifetime experiences like a trip to a Mixed Martial Arts event, Hawaiian surf getaway, a Motocross event, or to a stop on the No Fear Energy Music Tour featuring the metal band Lamb of God.

And here’s the actual No Fear Earn Some Cred Giveaway Prize Pack, valued at 100 big dollars:

2 – No Fear Hoodies
2 – No Fear T-shirts (one of each style)
1 – No Fear Bloodshot Hat
1 - 12-pack of the new No Fear Bloodshot Energy Drink
1 – Lamb of God’s latest CD “Wrath” (released on Feb. 24)
1 – Sticky Bumps Surf Wax

So that’s what’s up for grabs. I’m at my discretion to make you jump through hoops for a chance to win that beverage-fueled swag, but I know from past experience that anything in bloggerland that requires effort fails dismally.

Instead, all you have to do is leave a comment below, with a valid email address so I can contact you for your shipping address (U.S. addressees only, sorry Canada and the rest of the world!) if you win. That’s it! Drop in your comment by midnight EST, Sunday April 5th to qualify. From there, I’ll be picking one lucky commenter purely at random to receive the No Fear booty.

And now for the disclosure. I’m not getting paid, but I am getting some freebies myself in return: A t-shirt and a 12-pack of No Fear Energy Bloodshot. Sounds gruesome, except that “bloodshot” refers to a shot of blood orange flavor. Which might do me good, since the last hyper-energized drink I really liked, taste-wise, was the now-extinct 180, with its citrus flavoring. And I actually think branding blood-orange flavoring as “bloodshot” is mighty clever. Thus do I assuage my reservations over blog-shilling…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/25/2009 03:22:26 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food
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I’m not saying that Los Angeles is a warzone or anything. But when Marine recruits are being embedded with the LA County Coroner’s Department for prep training on dead-body recovery before being shipped out to Iraq to handle battlefield casualties, I think the parallels draw themselves…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/25/2009 02:13:53 PM
Category: Politics, Society, True Crime
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guilty as charged
Just as deviance devolves downward, it seems that greed, and its accoutrements, devolves upward — all the way to this 0.02 carat-encrusted Visa Infinite Diamond Card, for those making $300,000 and up per year.

That leaves me and my zinc-card carrying brethren blacked out. Although in this perverse financial-status arms race, it’ll be only a matter of time before this “infinite” credit limit is far surpassed, with the residual effect being that black and the other now-exclusive shades of plastic will become devalued enough for the unwashed masses to qualify for them.

Then again, the Visa Infinite is being issued by the Eurasian Bank of Kazakhstan. Considering that the oil-primed Kazakh economy is collapsing right along with the price of a barrel of crude, this might be the first-ever toxic asset to be delivered in wallet-sized card-swipe form.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/25/2009 01:34:16 PM
Category: Business, Fashion, Society
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A year ago, the dismal failure of “Quarterlife” suggested that Web-origined shows — even those with millions of built-in viewers via MySpace and other social networks — simply don’t translate to traditional television.

That isn’t stopping ABC from promoting the mommy-centric “In the Motherhood” from the online farm team to the broadcast-network big leagues. However, there were major snags during transition from Web to TV:

On the MSN.com edition of “Motherhood” (since discontinued), short segments about funny, frazzled mothers were inspired by the real-life stories that viewers submitted via an Internet forum. ABC, similarly, asked for story submissions on its Web site and said that they “might just become inspiration for a story by the writers.”

But ABC’s call for ideas from moms drew the attention of the Writers Guild of America, which said this type of request for submissions was “not permissible” under its contract with the network. This week ABC abruptly removed the language about “inspiration” from its Web site, effectively saying that the writers may not be listening to viewers’ ideas, after all.

So the intimately interactive element from the Web original will be missing. That’s doesn’t have to be a deathblow to the ABC version, unless the mommyblogging brigade gets riled up enough and boycotts the show, ala the Motrin insurrection. Even then, the impact of such an outcry might not sink “Motherhood”, since the wider audience for such a show isn’t necessarily aligned with the online contingent (i.e., more people don’t blog than do).

What’s more interesting is the source of this Web-to-TV mis-adaptation: Not the faceless corporation, but the entrenched content-creation talent. The Writers Guild effectively wants to maintain a closed shop for television writing, even on the high-concept level. It speaks of the number of barriers remaining to be broken before the presumed melding of the two mediums happens.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/25/2009 12:05:21 PM
Category: Creative, Internet, Pop Culture, TV
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Deeming the old A-B-C-D-F grading system to be unfairly subjective, school districts across the land are adopting a numbered 1 (lowest) to 4 (highest) scale for test and report card marks.

So at some point, the old “A for effort” and similar expressions will be antiquated. That’s F-ed up…

The new grades are supposed to be less confusing, although as deployed in suburban New York, that’s an iffy claim:

In Pelham, the second-grade report card includes 39 separate skill scores — 10 each in math and language arts, 2 each in science and social studies, and a total of 15 in art, music, physical education, technology and “learning behaviors” — engagement, respect, responsibility, organization. The report card itself is one page, but it comes with a 14-page guide explaining the different skills and the scoring.

A report card that comes with an owner’s manual-like rubric? Who’s being tested here, the kids or the parental units?

Actually, even accounting for the inevitable friction during the change and adjustment period, I don’t understand why K-12 doesn’t just install the college-style grade point average (GPA). This 1-4 system is almost the same thing, except that it’s unnecessarily imprecise by not allowing half-point gradations. Since the kids are being prepped for eventual college learning anyway, they might as well have a consistent rating structure for their entire schooling experience.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/25/2009 11:07:03 AM
Category: Creative, Society
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