Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, June 10, 2021

did you hear about this one
Practically live off the Web: Earlier tonight, someone landed on this blog from a Google search for this quote attributed to David Letterman:

“Sometimes, when you look in his eyes, you get the feeling that someone else is driving.”

The searcher presumably was looking for the object of Letterman’s assessment. And surprisingly, the scads of Web cruft don’t offer a clue as to who that is. Myriad sites reproduce the quote, and credit Letterman — but they offer absolutely no context. Just another example of the online echo chamber diffusing our collective ignorance…

If it helps anyone, I’m pretty sure I know who Letterman was referring to: The late Andy Kaufman. I can’t absolutely verify this at the moment, because, as I said, the Web is proving pretty useless in providing this information. But I recall the quotation pretty well, probably from some long-ago documentary on Kaufman’s life. Letterman would have uttered this sometime in the early ’80s, before Kaufman departed this mortal coil. I’m about 95 percent positive about this.

So, at least this website won’t be yet another dead end in the pursuit of the answer to Letterman’s pithy saying. At least, not anymore. And you’re welcome.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/10/2021 11:55pm
Category: Celebrity, Comedy
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from a distance
There’s no way to make this any more absurd than to state it in plain fact: The owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers paid “six figures and even higher”, according to a team attorney, to a physicist-slash-faith-healer named Vladimir Shpunt for transmitting positive vibes in the direction of Chavez Ravine.

In the five years [Shpunt] worked for the Dodgers, he attended just one game. Instead, he watched them on television in his home more than 3,000 miles from Dodger Stadium, channeling his thoughts toward the team’s success.

Shpunt’s work was one of the best-kept secrets of the McCourt [ownership] era. The couple kept it hidden even from the team’s top executives. But from e-mails and interviews, a picture emerges of how the emigre physicist tried to use his long-distance energy to give the Dodgers an edge.

The McCourts, who are embroiled in a contentious divorce, declined to be interviewed about Shpunt. Through their representatives, Frank said it was Jamie’s idea to hire him and Jamie said it was Frank’s.

The power of positive scamming is alive and well. As rife with superstition as baseball is, I’d say this incident reveals a new level of mystic nonsense — and from the executive suite, to boot. The only way to top this is if some owner decides to start serving up sacrificial offerings to the baseball gods…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/10/2021 10:57pm
Category: Baseball
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