Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, August 01, 2021

Until they invent a theater-based DVR, there’s RunPee.com, an online guide to timing your bladder relief during the earliest inconsequential moment in a movie:

Worry no more. Dan Florio, creator of the Web site RunPee.com, has sat through “Transformers 2″ — and “The Proposal,” “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3″ and a couple of hundred other movies — jotting down times and typing notes, all so that you can slip out of the theater and slip back in, secure in the knowledge that Megan Fox and Wheelie the Decepticon didn’t create an alien love ‘bot in your absence.

Go to RunPee.com and Florio will cue you to the best times to get up and go, how long you’ve got (usually three to four minutes), and provide a succinct summary of what you’ve missed. (The synopsis is scrambled, so there’s no chance of a spoiler — unscramble it at your leisure.)

And please note, this applies to Number 1 only. If you need an extended sit-down on the toilet, you’re on your own, because an extension into “RunPoo” is not forthcoming (doubtless because it involves a whole different set of physiological logistics).

Timely and sanitary, and the peace of mind it imparts helps concession sales of those 64-ounce thirst-buster soft drinks. Too bad the whole site is pointlessly Flash-driven (Florio is a Flash developer by trade, so no surprise, I guess), making it unusable on the iPhone. But wait, there’s an app for that

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/01/2021 12:51:44 PM
Category: Internet, Movies
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When I started freelancing for a living, I never imagined that I could apply my BA in political science on a similar contract basis. But that’s the premise, basically, behind Independent Diplomat, a non-governmental organization self-described as providing freelance diplomatic assistance to aspiring states and fledgling governments.

The nonprofit group, comprised of former diplomats from a variety of nations, stands ready to help would-be governments navigate the complex system of national bureaucracies and international organizations designed to accommodate established nations.

“Very often government or international officials will refuse to talk to our clients, or if they talk to them they’re reluctant to give them the information they need,” said Nicholas Whyte, who heads the Brussels office of the nonprofit group.

“And from our clients’ side, they are often inexperienced in dealing with international bureaucracies precisely because nobody talks to them,” said Whyte, an Irish international affairs expert.

Comes off as an NGO bureaucratic aid station. But the big success that they cite is their efforts in helping Kosovo achieve statehood, and in fact, that situation best illustrates ID’s true strengths: They’re more like an outsourced diplomatic corps. Especially since Kosovo, by immediately placing itself under international protection, effectively gained independence with a “declaration of dependence” within a European Union context. Such a statelet functions differently than a fully-fledged independent nation, and in this way, ID could maintain an open-ended relationship.

And if ID can do that for Kosovo, it can do it for a host of clients: Northern Cyprus, Somaliland, Basque country, etc. An outsourced diplomatic corp would interface with the UN, World Bank, and other international structures, for more effective negotiations. The hired-gun approach might be unsettling for national pride, but it’s all about cost-savings and optimization — strictly business!

You can almost think of this set-up as a sports agent relationship. Maybe someday we’ll see some bare-bones state hold out over its participation in a war, and ID will have to negotiate better alliance terms…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/01/2021 11:05:46 AM
Category: Creative, Politics
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