Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, June 28, 2021

I had meant to mark the moment (or near enough) when my copy of Esquire Magazine’s 75th Anniversary Issue (October 2008 cover date), with the much-hyped electronic ink flashing cover, would run out of battery power and become inert.

The moment passed sometime last week, and somehow, I didn’t notice it. I must have been really preoccupied, because I’ve got the magazine perched on my dresser, amidst clutter but clearly the centerpiece of my daily mess. I guess I got so used to the constant on-off blinking of headlines over the past eight months that the animation no longer stood out for me. Thus, the cessation of that typographical motion didn’t faze me.

True to form, the lack of juice doesn’t mean the cover is now blank. All the type and small graphics are now frozen into place, looking much as they would on a regular printed page. They just no longer “move”. Key feature of e-ink.

Anyway. An eight-month lifespan for e-ink gimmickry. During that time, Amazon has pushed the display technology somewhat into the mainstream with the Kindle, presumably making hard-copy experiments like Esquire’s somewhat superfluous. I know that magazine hasn’t repeated this little experiment, despite having exclusive use of the application for 2009. A nice footnote in the history of publishing, but ultimately didn’t amount to much.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/28/2009 09:48:40 PM
Category: Publishing, Tech
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stone rockin'
Yep, the cameraphoned photo above shows you a literal box of rocks. No call on just how dumb that is.

Actually, there are two more collections of caged stones just like this, out of frame (yes, even on the embiggened Flickr version). They’re positioned near the entrance of Flowers of the World, a hoity-toity type of florist shop in Midtown. I’m assuming the installation has to do with achieving some sort of commercial-retail feng shui effect.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/28/2009 08:44:11 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin', Photography
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spilling over
Here’s a novel method of dealing with someone who’s blasting his/her iPod so loud that it’s audible to everyone else in the vicinity:

“Hey, mind if I listen?” the redhead said, and without waiting for a response, plucked the woman’s left earbud, placed it in her own ear, and began bobbing her head to the music. The iPod owner looked mortified. The car grew silent save for the blare. I looked at my wife, who had heard me rant about this so many times, she knew exactly what I was thinking: At last, someone was taking a stand.

Of all the daily discourtesies we endure as city dwellers, none to me is more irksome than headphone leak. You know, that treble-drenched drone emanating from iPods halfway down the subway car. What puzzles me is why people do not complain more often, why we don’t rise up in numbers and insist these people turn their music down, or else.

This protester was risking a possible ear infection by inserting an unknown earbud into her auditory canal, but that’s a small price to pay for making a stand. I guess.

Of course I’ve encountered this phenomenon before, many times. What gets me is when, improbably, I can hear someone else’s overflow leakage even though my ears are iPod-occupied. My fear is that I, in response, will up my volume, which will drown out the offending leaker’s noise but then create noise for others near me — a ripple-effect audio arms race.

Not that I’ve ever noticed dirty looks from fellow passengers over my volume. It’s hard for me to confirm whether or not I’m one of the offending leakers: Obviously, I can’t listen to myself, it’s awkward to ask a stranger, and I wouldn’t be listening on my iTouch when riding with someone I know. I guess if/when I encounter my first earbud-hijacking, I’ll know for sure.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/28/2009 08:20:08 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society, iPod
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in the cards
I hit the subway station just before noon, and approached the turnstile with MetroCard in my hand, ready to fly through in usual fluid motion.

But of course, today was different, and I knew it. So after sliding my card through the reader, I broke stride just long enough to allow time to read the electronic readout for once.

And sure enough, there it was: $2.25. Not the usual two bucks even, which I’d half-hoped this particular station would still be charging. An extra twenty-five cents really isn’t that big a deal, and I knew that, even if the MTA screwed up and had kept a random station on the old fare, the mistake would be corrected soon enough, and I’d eventually be paying the full nine-quarters for my near-daily rides on the No. 6, or F, or any other line I happen to need. Still, it all adds up, and even though it could have been much worse, I could do without the jacked-up transit costs.

But then, as I boarded the train, I got an up-close look at the prettiest Indian woman I’ve ever seen on the 6. And I promptly forgot about the extra coin I had to drop to get that view.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 06/28/2009 07:20:24 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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