Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, August 05, 2021

For everyone who had to take a statistics course in college (I’m raising my hand…), know that it is, indeed, possible to love the sweet science of data-crunching — and the time and place to express that love is in China, in celebration of 60 years of Communist rule:

The [National Bureau of Statistics] has launched a call for submissions of writings celebrating the People’s Republic of China’s big birthday as part of campaign called “Statistical Feelings: Together We Go – Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Founding of New China.” The campaign is intended to boost the patriotic feelings and confidence of statisticians in their work, according to the bureau’s Web site. Submissions should reflect on the development of the nation over the past six decades, discuss the role of statistics in national development and express the feelings of statistics workers towards this period in history in 3000 characters or less.

And when bureaucratic beancounters let their hair down, naturally they turn to… poetry:

A poem, “Love the Homeland, Love Statistics,” includes the following stanza:

Life
Some mock me for doing statistics
Some loathe me and statistics
Some don’t understand what statistics are
Why is it that statistics
Put a calm smile on my face?
Because of statistics
I can solve the deepest mysteries
Because of statistics
I will not be lonely again, playing in the data
Because of statistics
I can rearrange the stars in the skies above
Because of statistics
My life is different, more meaningful
I love my life, my statistics

No doubt, grassroots proletarian propaganda, delivered in catchy(?) verse form. I’m suddenly inspired to calculate the mean, median, mode, and range of every single one of my blog posts.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/05/2021 10:25:23 PM
Category: Creative, Political
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No such thing as a free ride, even when you’re behind bars: Cash-strapped states are starting to charge prisoners for time served, and facilities used, while incarcerated.

Collecting the fees covers a wide spectrum. In Richmond, they are deducted from a prisoner’s personal account — which contains whatever money relatives send and any cash the suspect had when arrested. In Arizona, [Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio], who makes inmates wear pink underwear to increase the humiliation factor, also taps prisoner accounts. Inmates who have no money still receive food, the sheriff says.

Other authorities slap the prisoner with a bill upon release from prison. But it’s often hard to collect. In Kansas, Overland Park officials acknowledged collecting only 39 percent of fees. In Missouri’s Jackson County, officials discovered they spent more money trying to collect fees than they actually received from inmates.

In some cases, parole is denied until the prison-stay tab is paid up. I guess that’s an incentive, as well as a general deterrent to wanting to get arrested in the first place, knowing that you’ll be facing a check-out bill.

Next logical step to running Hotel Hoosegow: A frequent visitor card. Log in enough stays, and eventually your future jailhouse tenures can be paid for with points! Hell, maybe even upgrades to solitary confinement…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/05/2021 09:22:28 PM
Category: Society, True Crime
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A photo gallery of notably tan-less Hollywood stars conjured up just one thing for me: Vampire chic, catching on.

Oh sure, a trend toward the pale-skin look (which only Caucasians can pull off, barring skin-bleaching) could be attributed to other factors: Skin cancer awareness, an unconscious group-reaction to having a black man in the White House, or even a periodic turn in the cyclical socio-cultural perception of attractiveness. But with all the nosferatu-mania rippling across pop culture, I’m blaming the bloodsuckers.

Perhaps the likes of Kelly Osbourne and Jim Gaffigan are just angling to be cast in the next Twilight spin-off and/or rip-off? Either that, or the palefaces making it obvious that their show-biz success is attributable to dark forces. For instance, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that sheet-white Conan O’Brien has poofy hair that’s reminiscent of that found on Francis Ford Coppola’s “Dracula”

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 08/05/2021 12:23:36 PM
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, Pop Culture
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