Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, March 29, 2021

when a problem comes along
The other day, I bought a jar of peanut butter (not the one pictured above, which is intended as merely a generic gif).

I wasn’t paying sufficient attention, and wound up picking up not the regular creamy variety, but the whipped creamy style instead.

Whipped peanut butter? This is a pure rip-off, isn’t it? Same sized jar as the regular creamy, but whereas that one weighs 17-18 ounces, the whipped jar weighs 14 ounces. Doesn’t sound like much of a deficiency, but let’s face it — whipping the PB full of air not only makes it fluffy, but also reduces the actual amount you get — at the same price, to boot. It’s essentially in line with the subtle shrinkage in the unit size of food packages of late.

The upshot: I think I’ll switch to chunky.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/29/2009 11:25:31 PM
Category: Food
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You might have multiple online personas spread out across every social network out there, but there’s still just one Internet. So when it comes to establishing “Brand Me” for professional purposes, refinement and consistency is the key:

“Finding your niche is the key,” said Dan Schawbel, author of “Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success” (Kaplan, April 2009), and a personal branding guru (that’s his brand, by the way).

He espouses a four-step process — discover, create, communicate, maintain. That translates into: discover your passion and put it together with your expertise; create a “personal branding tool kit” (which may include a résumé, online profile, blog and portfolio of your work) that consistently reflects your brand; pitch your brand online and offline; and update and monitor any conversations about your brand.

All of which can be easily-enough undone by a random Facebook photo or Twitter drunk-tweeting. Basically, when you start working the Web, the Web still works you.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/29/2009 10:54:11 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Internet
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The few times I’ve read Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, I’ve always felt this epic poem practically anti-climaxes after Book 1 — specifically the particulars of the Story of Lycaon.

I’m not going to re-post the entire, turgid verse here, but rather the most pertinent lines that stick with me (with bracketed contextual clarification where necessary):

“Do you reckon
They [the earthbound demigods] will be safe,
When I, who wield the thunder,
Who rule you all as subjects, am subjected
To the plottings of the barbarous Lycaon?”

They [the gods] burned, they trembled. Who was this Lycaon,
Guilty of such rank infamy? They shuddered
In horror, with a fear of sudden ruin,…
That cried for vengeance, even as Jove took pleasure,
Then, in the gods’ response. By word and gesture
He calmed them down, awed them again to silence,
And spoke once more:

“He has indeed been punished.
On that score have no worry. But what he did,
And how he paid, are things that I must tell you.”

From there, Ovid recounts the gruesome story of how decadent King Lycaon chopped up human flesh and attempted to serve it to Jove, incurring the chief god’s wrath. The sin is less interesting than the punishment, which confirms how Lycaon ultimately retains the upper hand:

He [Lycaon] fled in terror, reached the silent fields,
And howled, and tried to speak. No use at all!
Foam dripped from his mouth; bloodthirsty still, he turned
Against the sheep, delighting still in slaughter,
And his arms were legs, and his robes were shaggy hair,
Yet he is still Lycaon, the same grayness,
The same fierce face, the same red eyes, a picture
Of bestial savagery. One house has fallen,
But more than one deserves to.

So Jove turns Lycaon into a wolf, or werewolf (lycos/lycan being the ancient root for this mythic beast). But the last laugh is with Lycaon, because he hasn’t really been transformed at all — he already was a savage beast in his original human form, so Jove’s punishment didn’t change Lycaon in a meaningful way. Thus “he is still Lycaon”, and Jove, for all his power, has to come to terms with the idea that he really didn’t make an impact. This leads to the skyfather god to conclude that no punishment less than total destruction can “fix” the human race.

To me, that’s the most powerful statement in the entire “Metamorphoses”. So, like I said: The rest of the poem seems to fall short from that core message.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/29/2009 08:59:42 PM
Category: Creative
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