Saturday, April 16, 2011

penny for an artist

According to Alexa, the Web Information Company, 22 million, 573 thousand, 395 webpages around the globe are more visited than 
lol Good to know. Yesterday was our 400th post in about nine months and that Alexa ranking mathematically places our little SoBro website in the top 8 or 9% of the web.

Readership is naturally American but we have regular readers in the UK, Canada, Germany and other countries.

We are included in SoBro image searches.

Google stats evidence the recipes as the usual search engine gateway that brings a new reader. The religious posts each Sunday garner the most private email. Questions about living here in the ClockTower are fairly routine by now, too. And a CTT image search turns up the thousands of images we’ve shot and published since July 18th, 2010.

CTT has gathered over 21,000 page views so we can feature ads and split the revenue with Google. How exciting.

Well, not really. ClockTowerTenants launched with a typical spike, then settled into a regular readership and built slowly back from there. That’s a predictable curve, I’m told, and you can see it in the graph.

But recovery can take years to regain that initial bounce and we accomplished that in about six months. Still, at current ad rates CTT would return about $.61 every 30 days. Split with Google our take would be about 30 and one half cents per month or less than a penny per post.
In France they say “centime pour un artiste”, or “penny for an artist.”

By the way, have you noticed the flipside of the new ones?

Very cool. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

That’s so 90’s

A quick post, one I suspect younger folks won’t “get” or care about and older folks will probably feel the same sad loss I felt when reading this. Before social networking perhaps 7 years ago, a person so desperate they committed suicide often left a note. A handwritten note. Something their hand had touched as they wrote it. 
And when the awful news came true, the neighbors and family and friends would pour into their house bearing flowers and hot meals and they would sit, just sit with the family who lost a loved one to despair. They didn’t have to say much. Their presence was the comfort.
The sad Mom up in Newburgh who drove her van into the Hudson, killing herself and three of her four kids, didn’t actually leave a note. She posted it on FaceBook.

So her friends didn’t actually come to the house with flowers and hot food. They left condolences on her wall and went about their lives.

Photos from USA Today

The more technology expands, the less personal human communication becomes. Tell me we are not leaving something preciously human and crucial behind. 

solar flair

Thursday, April 14, 2011

worth the 60 seconds it takes

Harvard’s Berkman Internet Center has a way of making very complex issues so simple even I can understand them.

The 2011 Federal Budget is approximately $3.82 trillion but that’s too large for us to understand. So they divide everything by 100 million so the numbers make more sense.

Imagine “we have a family that is spending $38,200 per year. The family’s income is $21,700 per year. The family adds $16,500 in credit card debt every year in order to pay its bills. After a long and difficult debate among family members, keeping in mind that it was not going to be possible to borrow $16,500 every year forever, the parents and children agreed that a $380/year premium cable subscription could be terminated. So now the family will have to borrow only $16,120 per year.”

The state of our union in Washington.

movin’ up to Boogie Down

From the NY DailyNews:
“City officials may be griping about a census undercount, but there's no disputing the Bronx keeps on growing.”

“Lured by affordable housing and easy access to Manhattan, 52,458 people have moved to "The Boogie Down" since 2000, according to 2010 U.S. Census data.”

“Most of the new additions are Hispanic, and most of them - nearly 40,000 - have settled in the 16th Congressional District, which includes Melrose, Morrisiana and Mott Haven.”

"The Bronx was Danish and Swedish first, and then Jews and Italians came and then blacks came," said William Bosworth, a retired Lehman College professor.”

“But while the Hispanic demographic continues to grow, blacks have declined by 42,442 since 2000.”

“Rep. Jose Serrano (D-SouthBronx) spoke for his district when he said the South Bronx has a tradition of attracting people who want to start new lives.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

ignorant voters = ignorant politicians

LZ Granderson is a smart and interesting guy and I’ve been reading him for years. He writes a weekly column for CNN and he’s a senior writer and columnist for ESPN. Where other pundits say outrageous things to provoke, Granderson offers provocative suggestions to make us think.
This week he asked: 
(CNN) -- Should ignorant people be allowed to vote?

Good question. He posits we have ignorant politicians because they are elected by ignorant voters. He says quite reasonably: “If I were to ask you to ingest an unknown medicine from someone who knew nothing about the medical field, you probably wouldn't do it.”
“And I doubt many of us would feel comfortable as a shareholder in a company that asked people who knew nothing about business to hire its next CEO?”

Makes sense. So he continues...
“...voters should at least be able to name the three branches of government...and understand what a "trade deficit" is and how laws are made. I would start by making the U.S. Naturalization Test -- given to immigrants who want to become citizens -- part of the voter registration process.”
An interesting suggestion. So I took the quick 10 question test linked on the page and couldn’t believe how simple it was.

Take it and see how you do. Seriously, dude, nothing personal. But if you can’t answer these fundamental American questions correctly and you vote, Granderson thinks you are part of the problem and it’s hard to disagree.

Click the link, then scroll down to “Quiz: Test your Civics knowledge.”

(he's a) Smoo-oth operator

The insulated ceiling panels for the new WesternBEEF expansion project arrived the other day, posing a real dilemma for the fork lift operator.  The panels are twice as long as the door is wide. How to get them in?

First, he threads the needle by getting the end of the stack into the opening.

He jockeys them to the center of the doorway 
and sets them down.

And then backs out.

So far, so good.

Now he swings around to the end of the stack.

Slips his forks under.

Lifts a bit of the weight off.

And then just pushes




Monday, April 11, 2011

"I ain’t a playah I jus crush a lot."

E. 163rd St. and Rogers Place in the South Bronx is hallowed ground for fans of early hip hop.

That’s home turf of the Big Punisher, “Big Pun”, a pioneer of 1980‘s South Bronx rap back when SoBro was nothing but burning cars, box cutters and crack pipes. He lived homeless for awhile.

But diligence paid off and his 1998 debut album Capital Punishment became the first album by a solo Latino rap artist to go platinum, hitting #5 on the BILLBOARD chart.

Capital Punishment was nominated for a Grammy Award, too.

Alas, his good fortune was not to endure. At a body weight of 698 pounds and the age of only 28, Big Pun died of a heart attack on February 7, 2000. His kid sister Nicole is now leading the campaign to have 163rd and Rogers renamed BigPunPlace, and I was at the rally on Saturday.

You can sign their petition here:

Nicole and her Mother pitch Community Board 2 on April 16th. R.I.P. Respect Into Pun and Buena suerte, Nicole.