Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
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Saturday, November 22, 2021

say cheese
Here’s something I stumbled upon yesterday, right after updating to the latest 2.2 firmware on my iPod Touch:

To take a screenshot all you need to do is hold down the Menu button (the black circle) and press the power button at the top of the device - you will see a white flash on your screen which means the screenshot was taken. In order to access the screenshots just go to your [Photos] on your iPod Touch. It will appear within your saved images.

Sure enough, I tried the dual-pressing of the buttons (the only two physical buttons on the thing, unlike the iPhone or the new 2nd-generation iTouch, both of which have volume-control sidetabs). It took the freeze-frame and saved the results in the Photos section. I must have taken a half-dozen shots of the home screen, album cover art, in-action gameplay, etc.

What good is this? After all, it’s not a real camera — it’s nothing more than a Windows-like Print Screen function. But you can use this to take pristine images of iPod App results in games (high-scores), maps directions, emails, and so on. Even more creatively, you can take a shot of the album art from one of your favorite songs, and automatically set that as the iTouch’s wallpaper (after appropriate cropping), all without going through the trouble of syncing up via iTunes first.

Looks like this works only with the 2.x version of the iPhone/iTouch firmware. I assume it also works on the iPhone. I wonder why Apple kept this on the down-low as a hidden feature; I thought they were through with such Easter eggs…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/22/2008 04:07:33 PM
Category: Photography, iPod
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Wednesday, November 19, 2021


Go to the Flickrized version of the above photo to see it in its full(er) glory. This trio of elongated lions grace the 51st Street entrance of the British Empire Building, within the Rockefeller Center complex of structures in Manhattan. A unique look, worthy of my stopping for a few seconds to cameraphone it.

There’s surprisingly little info about this specific architectural feature online; from what I could find:

This was created by Lee Lawrie, a German-born sculptor who also created the famous statue of Atlas across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Lawrie (1877–1963) did more work than any other artist at Rockefeller Center, including the nine allegorical figures (under the royal arms) of the industries of the British Empire.

The three lions are heraldry symbols, representing the three lions of England (that is just England, not the England-Scotland-Ireland union of Great Britain, which I’d assumed at first). I could dig into that further, but I’d rather just leave this as it lies.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 11/19/2008 11:33:31 PM
Category: Creative, New Yorkin', Photography
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Sunday, November 09, 2021

branching out
It’s a tad late for Halloween, but it’s still autumn. So this whimsical photo of hand-clasped yard-ghosts eerily encircling a tree (does it contain one of their spirit-pals?) is still in-season.

I like it so much that I’ll have to replicate it myself next Halloween. Might be tricky to find a tree, much less an appropriate patch of land, so I’ll have to improvise for the surroundings.

This picture cuts off the seance-tree’s upper branches, so I can’t tell if a tree-o’-lantern is perched above. There certainly ought to be.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/09/2021 01:07:37 PM
Category: Creative, Photography
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Thursday, November 06, 2021


The above arrow proudly proclaims the air-blasting ability of the XLerator Fast Hand Dryer, and is appropriately affixed to every such dryer I’ve ever run across in public restrooms.

Apparently, this simple “feel the power” tagline, combined with the on-site demonstration of said hand-drying power, is a particularly effective example of viral marketing.

Anecdotally, further proof can be found in the usual telltale signs of unpeeling attempts of these stickers; the one above just barely shows evidence of this. People want to swipe these stickers. I’m guessing it won’t be long before we see this design on some fratboy-targeted t-shirt, with the downward-pointing arrow delivering the intended phallically-charged message. (Actually, I should cash in on that myself — hello, CafePress!)

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 11/06/2021 11:39:54 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Photography
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Tuesday, November 04, 2021


I snapped the above cameraphone pic of this wayward tree-bound pumpkin yesterday afternoon, on Bond Street just past Bowery. It’s as fitting an end for a post-Halloween jack-o’-lantern as any, I suppose; I’m guessing he’ll make a nice little snack for the squirrels and birds before the serious gourd-rot sets in. It’d be even funnier if some critter decided to make a temporary dwelling out of it, with the carved portions serving as windows.

Embiggened version, for what it’s worth, on Flickr.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 11/04/2021 08:31:05 AM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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Friday, October 10, 2021


I’ve yet to visit New York’s own Museum of Sex. But I’ve passed by it a few times, and it’s usually worth looking up from the sidewalk to see what they’ve got in the window.

Like the above display, showing off current exhibit “The Sex Lives of Animals”. I liked the caption enough to cameraphone the scene, and luckily enough the picture came out pretty clear:

“Female elephants have been observed masturbating one another using their trunks.”

Note that the accompanying image of the two pachyderms doesn’t suggest girl-on-girl action involving trunks, as much as traditional male-female copulation. I guess the Museum wanted to let the verbiage speak for itself, without too-graphic detail.

As usual, I’ve loaded up the embiggened version of the above photo to Flickr. Enjoy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/10/2021 06:18:09 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography, Science
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Saturday, October 04, 2021


Here’s the view floor-ward on the subway platform for the downtown No. 6 train at Grand Central Station (as opposed to Grand Central Terminal). Embiggered version on Flickr.

I’m not at this station every day, but I’ve stood there enough times that I really should have noticed this tile-lettering before now. Maybe it’s because GCS is a generally drab-looking and unremarkable stop, especially when compared to downtown stations that have more intricately-decorative tiling. On the off-chance that I’d never notice this “Step Aside” signifier again, I cameraphoned it quick.

And after I did, I looked at it a few seconds more, and wondered: Would it be improved if it read “Step Astride” instead? Sometimes you need that extra-big step to get on the other side of that sliding door…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/04/2021 01:15:31 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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Monday, September 29, 2021

great pumpkins
Yes, autumn is in the air here in New York, and that means… Pumpkins!

These big-ass pumpkins were displayed for sale on the sidewalk today, and I felt compelled to snap a cameraphone photo while passing by. They must have been at least 30 pounds each. Their location at the corner of 29th Street and 6th Avenue is geographically Midtown, although it feels more like Chelsea, despite that neighborhood ending a few blocks south.

Embiggened version of this snapshot, including a larger-framed context of the streetscape, on Flickr.

Suddenly, I can’t wait for the next airing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 09/29/2008 08:18:22 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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Thursday, August 28, 2021

say ahhhh
What can I say? I’m a sucker for sidewalk kitsch — especially when it presents itself overflowingly, in cartoony-lion statue form. As usual, an embiggened version of the super-widemouthed jungle cats is on Flickr.

The sidewalk in question is on 24th Street here in Manhattan, between 6th and 7th Avenues (in Chelsea). The store in question is Olde Good Things, an antique/furnishings store that bills itself as “the place of the architecturologists”. Which, I’m sorry, I can’t help but read as “architect urologists”…

As I walk by these statue stores, I often wonder just who buys these oddities. Somebody must be doing so, right? That, or else they’re being traded from store to store endlessly.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 08/28/2008 10:29:26 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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Saturday, August 16, 2021

Being Americans, we just assume that everyone on the globe speaks American English.

But apparently, when you’re spreading the Good Word, you don’t take any chances, as exemplified by this sidewalk sandwich-board display I cameraphoned on 42nd Street earlier today. It contained Christian religious flyers, translated into a few dozen languages. What I found to be the most amusing part: The only misspelling in the whole lineup? “Englishn”.

Go see the embiggened version on Flickr. And for completeness’ sake, here’s the row-by-row list of all the languages represented. I realize there’s probably no particular rhyme or reason to it, but I find the resultant grouping of disparate tongues interesting nonetheless:

First row: English, French, Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu
Second row: Armenian, Farsi, Afrikaans, Chinese, Bengal (sic)
Third row: Creole, Croatian, Czech, Albanian, German
Fourth row: Dutch, Latvian, Georgian, Estonian, Burmese
Fifth row: Cambodian, Greek, Tibetan, Hungarian
Indian dialects: Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi, Punjab (incomplete; I didn’t get a clear look at all these)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 08/16/2008 06:25:41 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography, Wordsmithing
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Thursday, July 24, 2021

top and centerI have qualms about exploiting the homeless. Not to mention their well-trained, head-sitting cats.

But this particular member of the underclass invited me to take this picture, in exchange for giving him a dollar. Probably the best-spent buck I’ve doled out all week, even though my crappy cameraphone delivered a blurred result. (Bigger-but-still-blurred version on Flickr.)

I ran into this guy on upper Broadway, I think at the corner of 64th. I’m pretty sure I’d seen him before, complete with the walking-while-cat-balancing act, but I can’t be sure. Hard to believe I’d forget a sight like this.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/24/2008 08:57:31 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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Thursday, July 10, 2021

pictured that
Strictly for documentation purposes, I’ll note here that the Nikon “Picture This” program, which provided me with a yearlong use of a Nikon D80 SLR camera, has officially ended with my return of the camera to MWW Group this week.

I appreciated having the toy at my disposal, even though I didn’t take full advantage of it. Much like Joelle, I found the D80 to be simply overkill for me. Maybe the rest of the “Picture This” participants felt the same way, as the Flickr group dedicated to the project went moribund months ago.

The lasting effect for me: I’m actually on Flickr because of the Nikon trial. I’m never going to be a heavy user, but I’ll always have an online space (besides this blog) to serve up my cameraphone pictures.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/10/2021 08:32:13 PM
Category: Photography
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Thursday, June 19, 2021

art and form
I spent most of my working hours today in Brooklyn. While taking a break, I stumbled upon the above mini-mural of Barack Obama, on Grand Street. It provided a bright spot in an otherwise dingy neighborhood, especially judging by what used to be there.

Plus, a further look at that map reveals that this “This Is Our Moment” may be misplaced. Because on the next block over from Grand Street lies Hope Street — which would be more in accord with the sentiment of this Obama tribute.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/19/2008 10:46:29 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography, Politics
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Wednesday, June 04, 2021

SimpleViewer, a freebie from Airtight Interactive, is a neat little Flash-based app for showing off your pictures on your very own website. It works well with kitties, but I’m sure just about any photo images would look good on it.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 06/04/2021 08:34:54 AM
Category: Internet, Photography
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Monday, May 05, 2021

layin' it down
What can I say, I derive much amusement from the merest suggestion of McDonald’s-inspired mayhem. Especially when it’s mixed with a fear of clowns.

Or is it more of a fear of fast-food pimpness? I can just imagine this statued Ronald’s accompanying dialogue: “You better have my money before I bitch-slap your McNuggetty ass!”

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/05/2021 11:54:23 AM
Category: Comedy, Food, Photography, Pop Culture
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Take Conan O’Brien’s recurring “If They Mated” skit and make it frighteningly real, and you’ve got The Human Hybrid.

“Human” is a bit of stretch, only in that it suggests an egalitarian photographic genepool. In reality, this is all about interpreting reg’lar folks’ images as a melding of two well-known celebrities. Nothing wrong with that — it works for late-night television! — but it’s something of an old-hat trick.

I assume most of the photo submissions, like the one pictured here for “Clay Cruise/Tom Aiken”, are authentic. (I love that hybridization-slash-slashing of the names, by the way.) Some of them, though, I’m just not buying.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 05/05/2021 11:38:15 AM
Category: Celebrity, Comedy, Internet, Photography
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Tuesday, April 29, 2021

While rushing through the Upper East Side today, a sign in an electronics store display caught my eye:

DIGITAL CAMERAS
YOUTUBE-ENABLED

I half-suspected that this was a snake-oil claim. But in fact, Casio’s Exilim camera line touts its YouTube-branded point-click-upload onboard software interface, which is designed to make recording and posting of videos seamless. Furthermore, Casio got an exclusive on this YouTube-by-association feature.

Of course, this ain’t news, as Casio rolled out the Exilim almost a year ago.

But it’s news to me. And I think it’s indicative of the times that a camera’s ability to play nice with YouTube is such a powerful sales hook that it’s front-and-center in valuable window display territory. In fact, I’m thinking this is a crucial feature for selling to younger consumers, how might otherwise need convincing to get a dedicated camera versus just using their cameraphone.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 04/29/2008 11:02:26 PM
Category: Internet, Photography, Tech
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Thursday, April 10, 2021


The above picture is of former Spice Girl and current soccer-wife Victoria Beckham, taken by Juergen Teller as an advertisement for fashion house Marc Jacobs. This shot is fairly typical of Teller’s avant-garde approach to photography.

Two things: One, I never would have believed that Stick Spice had enough meat on her bones to represent with a pair of legs like that. And two, this disembodied-limb look is the closest thing to an appearance that she’ll ever make on this blog.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/10/2021 11:15:06 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Celebrity, Fashion, Photography
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Friday, March 28, 2021

black and white in color
Much as Monday Night Football and Terrell Owens taught us almost four years ago, you simply cannot put a black man and white woman together in American media and not have people go (pardon the pun) apeshit.

But the image is stirring up controversy, with some commentators decrying the photo as perpetuating racial stereotypes. [LeBron] James strikes what some see as a gorilla-like pose, baring his teeth, with one hand dribbling a ball and the other around [Gisele] Bundchen’s tiny waist.

It’s an image some have likened to King Kong and Fay Wray.

“It conjures up this idea of a dangerous black man,” said Tamara Walker, 29, of Philadelphia.

And in fact, some think that photographer Annie Leibovitz, who shot this April 2008 cover of Vogue, took her inspiration from the semi-famous “Destroy This Mad Brute” World War I propaganda poster, which predates King Kong.

As always, image is everything.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/28/2008 03:37:43 PM
Category: Basketball, Fashion, Photography, Publishing
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Sunday, February 24, 2021

subway strumming
Yes, that would be a lady playing her harp on a subway platform. Specifically the L Line’s first Brooklyn stop at Bedford Avenue and North 7th Street.

Musical performers are a common sight at NYC subway stations, but the majority tend to use more compact instruments like guitars. I’m guessing this harp lady is fairly unique. Plus, how much of a hassle must it be to lug that huge thing around? (That big blue thing behind her is the harp’s case, by the way.) I’d hope that she makes an appearance at a Manhattan station, but I’m thinking the chances are slim.

I wish I could take credit for capturing this shot, but I can’t. The original is right here, along with larger versions for more visual details.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 02/24/2008 03:36:34 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Photography
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Sunday, November 18, 2021

Of note:

On a recent quest to track down an Polaroid instant camera, a coordinated search between Manhattan and Long Island came down to a single model for sale. And that one had to be unearthed from a floor-level shelf, behind the counter at a Duane Reade.

Why hunt down an old-style film camera in this age of ubiquitous digital photography? I needed it for an occasion where the Polaroid’s instant photo-printing gimmick would satisfy the instant gratification that the evening would generate. Sometimes, the “real” handheld photo works better, in a pass-it-around social setting, than a digicam’s viewing window.

I guess this underlines how far out of favor film has fallen, even the specialized point-shoot-print variety that set apart Polaroid for so long.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 11/18/2007 10:58:02 PM
Category: Photography
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