Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, April 23, 2021

say cheese
If any of my erstwhile pals down Tampa Bay way fail to get in touch for a long stretch, I can always scan through Tampa Bay Mug Shots to see if they’ve been pinched in the past 60 days, and therefore are too preoccupied to chat with me.

Aggregating the arrest records from Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties and showcasing them via the region’s dominant newspaper is mighty provocative. Of course, it’s all perfectly routine under public-records procedure:

A sheriff’s office Web site maintains publicly accessible arrest records regardless of the disposition of any particular case. One principle behind Mug Shots is to mirror the sheriff’s office Web site policies closely. We provide links from every individual’s profile page to the detail page at the corresponding sheriff’s office site, which contains instructions about how to follow up on any particular case.

So the St. Pete Times isn’t outing anyone, exactly. But obviously, there’s a higher level of exposure via a search-friendly site like Mug Shots, with a meticulously-permalinked structure (albeit an extremely perishable one, since they expire in 60 days just like the police public record), than from the typically-buried information on the sheriff websites. I’m sure the paper is getting plenty of heat from disgruntled perps.

Still, don’t do the crime if you can’t do the online time. It’s a great idea, and a rare bright spot out of the distressed newspaper world.

(Via @noesym)

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/23/2009 08:27:09 AM
Category: Florida Livin', Internet, Media, True Crime
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clown around
I snatched this colorful “Happy Birthday” gift wrapping paper away from my mother this past weekend. She was going to use it on a couple of presents for my little nephews; I was charmed enough by its whimsical, old-fashioned style to salvage it. (She wound up using some modern-day, more antiseptic giftwrap — all the better for getting ripped apart by a couple of 6-year-olds who are just after their toys.)

I assumed that it was vintage, as strange as it is to think that my mother had managed to hang onto something as commonplace as wrapping paper for a couple of decades. My hunch may be right, if this fellow Flickr enthusiast is correct in assessing the very same clown-themed pattern. I have no other way of checking, but again, going by the look of the artwork and the general condition of the paper itself, I’m pretty convinced that this is an artifact from at least twenty years ago.

And if so, I think we might have one of the catalysts for the modern-day rash of coulrophobia among adults. If you’re scared of clowns, it might be because these guys were once wrapped around a pair of socks, or some other crappy clothes-based birthday gift…

Anyway, check for yourself via this larger-scaled Flickr’d version of my substandard cameraphone photo. And pick out your favorite clown, while you’re at it. Mine has to be the hobo-looking one that’s teasing the tigers.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/23/2009 08:07:04 AM
Category: Creative, Photography
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