Thursday, September 30, 2010

Underthinking Commonwealth

First of all I must lay my cards on the table, I do not understand why we need the commonwealth games. I have never gotten into it, I don't understand it, and to be honest I would be happy if it was gone.
For starters you don't even have to be a real country to attend the commonwealth games. There are only 54 nations in the commonwealth, yet 71 teams attend the games. How you may ask?

"....53,54....fifty-..nah I can't see anymore."

Well for starters Great Britain decides since they are the leader, then they should probably get more than one entry, so for the purpose of the games they seperate not only into the 4 home nations (Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland) but also declare any bit of land not physically attached to the mainland a country (Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man). I mean if they can do that why don't New Zealand send a South Island, North Island, Chatham Island and Stewart Island delegation?

Norman unveils the mascot for the 2010 Chatham Island team
To be fair to the Motherland though, us colonies have joined the party ie NZ with Tokelau, Cook Islands etc and Australia with Norfolk Island. Despite the fact made up countries can compete in these games...
The people of Starwaria are always proud when their team enters the stadium

....we still don't get a great cross section of the world competing at the games

There are more places not highlighted than highlighted.
But that's not the end of it, so we are starting with roughly 20% of the worlds countries. So the talent pool is already severely limited, then the top competitors from nations that are eligible to compete don't because they don't view it as prestigious (Usain Bolt, Caster Semenya, even our own Greg Henderson).
What exactly do you claim to be if you win a commonwealth medal?
I mean for example in weightlifting as far as I can tell the highest ranked commonwealth country is Canada at 16th equal, so at best you are 16th best in the world with a gold in commonwealth. (Presuming of course each country only has one good guy which is unlikely so you maybe barely cracking the top 30)

From a limited number of countries, and out of the people that actually decided to turn up I am the best at my sport
Then some of the other sports they have at the commonwealth games? They have greco-roman wrestling despite the fact neither the Greeks nor the Romans attend the games, they have Judo despite the fact the Japanese aren't there, they have table tennis yet no Chinese. When is the last time you saw a non-Chinese competitive table tennis player? This is second only to being a white sprinter in poor sporting career decisions.

Arthur Spriggs the last competive non-Chinese Tennis player sadly passed in 2003
Out of the other sports that are involved, I think the only one where the commonwealth games is the pinnacle is Lawn Bowls.
I mean the rugby 7's, quite a commonwealth dominated sport is without places like Italy, France, Ireland (real Ireland), Argentina, USA (Shown some promise of late), so hardly the pinnacle of the sport.
The netball, a sport only played in the commonwealth as far as I know, is really only a competition between Australia and NZ, an event that occurs every other Tuesday, just with different made up titles on the line, so hardly pinnacle. Netball in that sense is kind of like WWE where the competitors just decide to which titles to put on the line, imagine if that was the case.....

Okay so its agreed we are competing for the Fisher-Paykell, World Champ, Asia-Pacific Champ, but not the South Pacific or Commonwealth titles?
I mean I don't want to detract from the effort all the athletes and competitors put in, but at the end of the day if you are not good enough to be the best in the world, should you actually be a professional athlete? Perhaps you have underthought your profession?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Underthinking Profiles

Forgive me Father, it has been over a week since my last blog. For all you faithful readers I am sure this has been an eternity, making your procrastination time empty, and for that I apologize.


What to write about though, see normally I sit idle thinking about weird and wonderful things but lately I have been rather busy, my models in my thesis are actually working, I have a delightful new lady friend and also a flat with mySky leaving my about 10 seconds a week to observe underthinking. In the last week I attended the NZIHL Skate of Origin Match, I am a pretty awesome goalie you see, the following photo was taken at said match.

My Mother and I, we should be in magazines.

Now I cropped the photo to use as my profile picture, the cropping removed my mother. It is not because I do not like my mother, in fact I am rather fond of her.
The reason for the cropping is that I believe profile photos should be a clear photo of you, for some reason a lot of people don't understand this, and come up with all sorts of weird and wonderful pictures as their profile. I shall now give some examples that irk me.

1. The Inanimate object

The point of a profile photo is to show your friends what you look like, or used to look like. Not show them the picture of something you find interesting, that is what your photo album is for. My favourite time to encounter these photos is when I am looking for an old friend with a common name. i.e. Fred Smith. There are over 500 Fred Smiths on facebook, on the first search page I found these pictures.

Is that you Fred? Did you have a haircut?

Fred? Have you been working out?
Clearly the photos above give me no further clues to whether the Fred Smith I have clicked on is my friend Fred or not. Incidentally I have no friends called Fred Smith, so there is a position vacant for anyone who is looking.

2. The Cause/Event photo

Oh these are good, I want to save the world so I will change my photo to a picture of the poster promoting the cause. Or I am going to be attending this great event that people should also attend so I will make my profile photo the advertising photo for that.

Harriet Gray (apparently)
I understand you feel strongly for you cause/event. But you do realise facebook has mechanisms for you to promote these that don't include you getting plastic surgery so you resemble a planet right?

Greg was really committed to the recycling cause.
For causes that are ongoing, you could start a facebook group or fan page, and people that are likeminded could join it, you could even invite your friends that don't feel as strongly as you to join, and continously check to see if they acceped so that next time you can guilt trip them for not caring about whales, mines, forests or whatever it is hippies like these days.

"Remember when you didn't join "Whales have feelings too", that is why Timmy is dying right now, jerk"
And for events, facebook is even more explicit in helping you promote this, there is a section for creating events its step by step, you can tell people when, where, and why the event is happening. I tend to find for parties its best to make the end time at 5am two days after the party started, so that people will know it will be a really wild time.

3. The multiple people, where you are the least relevant person in the photo

These photos annoy me a lot. If the photo is of someone else but you are kind of in it, pick a different photo. If you don't like having your photo taken, just use the facebook silhouette, I mean that doesn't tell me much either but at least I don't think you are now on the run from the law and have had complete re constructive surgery.
Generally speaking the people that use these photos don't think of themselves as attractive people, but think maybe their friend is.

The guy in boat thought his friend Herb was way more attractive
Why do they do this? Are they hoping someone that obviously has never meet them in real life, will be trawling through facebook photos, see the picture of that babe Herb and want to jump his boots?
Even if that is the case how does it help them? I mean as soon as you meet, the person will realise you are clearly not the super stud Herb.
Man in Boat; He is no Herb

 What do you do now ? Just yell surprise and say well we got on online so it doesn't matter what I look like? True, but now the entire relationship is now built on a lie. The Facebook creeping relationship will be doomed.

Stalking: The most romantic way to meet.
4. Not a Photo, but shared Profiles.

The other thing that irks me about profiles is couples that share their profile. I don't mean do facebook relationship thingy, no these people are sharing the one profile.
They have names like Dave Mary Smith, were Mary is not his middle name, its his wifes name because they both use same profile. (Incidentally my grandmother's middle name is Bruce.)
Why are they doing this? Are they concerned they will run out of facebook pages, and they won't be using theirs much so they should just share?

Malik, It happened we just ran out of internet

Is this vestigial from the days where couples shared an email address? I mean I know sometimes people feel like the other person completes them, but they are still two separate individuals and should have separate profiles to reflect this.

Do Siamese twins get separate facebook profiles?
These people when making comments on walls and stuff append their messages with the name of the person that is writing the message, that is the point of separate profiles people, it tells people who are commenting on their stuff so you don't have too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

If you drive and underthink...

On my way to work this morning I notice two particular driving habits that I find particularly annoying.
The first of which is driving in the rain with your lights off, the problem with this habit is invariably the vehicles that drive around with their lights off are not bright red or highlighter pink. No these vehicles tend to be road-metal grey, or wet-road black, colours that don't tend to lend themselves to visibility.

I don't need my lights on I am highly visible.

The other common factor that these vehicles have is they tend to be driven by drivers, that can't understand why other people are pulling out in front of them, or merging on top of them. I am beginning to wonder if these people just really like surprising people so they drive in stealth mode so that they can toot at others. This I wouldn't mind so much if they had a "la cacuracha" horn, but alas its normally just a standard horn. These are the same people that sneak up on people at parties and pop balloons or yell "boo" I am guessing.

McCain likes to drive with his lights off...
These drivers would also be the people if they did crash into you, would ask rather genuinely why you didn't see their car. To which you could quite probably genuinely answer no I did not see your invisible car.

Dude, I still can't see your car.

The second act is the person that figures since they will be turning off the road, they are now entering, almost immediately they won't need to check for a gap in the traffic.
I am not sure if you have encountered these people, they are the ones that are parked on the side of a road, and will be turning off at the next intersection, so they will be in your lane for maximum half a block, so figure no matter when they pull out they won't disrupt the flow of traffic.

We are ninja drivers they won't even notice us on the road.

Now I am not sure what gives them this impression, the amount of room you need to be driving on a road is more a spatial question then a temporal one. It doesn't matter if you will be on the road for 2 seconds or 2 hours your car still takes up the same amount of room. Unless there is something that I am unfamiliar with advanced physics (which I very much doubt) that means if you are on the road for less than 2 seconds a wormhole opens up, bending space, so any traffic behind you will be able to pass through you.

Freaking Millennium Falcon pulled out in front of me again

Please people when driving try not to underthink it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Lyrically Underthinking

I am going to start this entry with the proviso, I get that musicians sometimes take artistic license and use metaphors and similes and other literary devices to get their point across. But even these comparisons need to be thought out.

Artistic License
1/ "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd

The first lyric that really struck me as strange is from one of my personal favourite songs. "Wish you were here" by Pink Floyd now don't get me wrong I love this song. But the opening verse asks the listener if they can discern various things.

So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell
Blue skies from pain

I get the first part, one man's Heaven may be another man's Hell, and there are no right or wrong answers about each one.
But the second bit "Blue skies from pain", these are both easily definable things. And I can't imagine anybody getting the two confused? Even someone feeling alienated from other people such as Roger Waters was at the time he wrote the song. Unless you are maybe one of those people that can taste numbers.

Now Ms Johnson if I touch here, do you feel any Blue Skies?
2/ Human - The Killers

Are we Human or are we dancer?

I guess the first thing to query is whether or not Mr Flowers is aware that when using we, we are in the plural form of the language? Because Dancer is of course the singular form, I think he was looking for dancers.
Maybe he got lambasted as a child for calling sheep, sheeps so is now afraid to put an "s" on anything.
The real question though aside from this grammatical is why he is differentiating people based on whether they are dancers or not?
Does he not consider them human, is he proposing some sort of apartheid/segregation system where Dancers are riding in the backs of buses, drinking from different water fountains?

Like Rosa Parks before them Fred and Ginger staged a passive resistance protest on a bus

3/ Tik tok - Ke$ha

Wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy?

Really Ke$ha (pronounced Key-dollar-ha,  presumably) you woke up this morning feeling like a highly-successful-African-American-entrepreneur -who-launched-many-successful-companies-after-his-father-was-killed-at-aged-33-in-drug-deal. Really?? How does that feel?
I have seen the video you wake up in a bathtub belonging to a suburban middle class white family, I am not sure P. Diddy has ever experienced this.
He probably wakes up in a bed in one of his many mansions or yachts after a party he has hosted. You look like you have just got too drunk at a party, and the hosts put you in the bath to let you sleep it off.

Wake up in the morning looking like I drunk too much at a college party.

I am not finished with this song yet though.

"And now, the dudes are lining up cause they hear we got swagger
But we kick em to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger"

Last time I checked Mick Jagger looked like a prune with ridiculous lips, so that is the type of man you are into? Surely you are kicking them to the curb because they look like Mick Jagger?
You may say wait wait, its not all about looks, I know this, but she explicitly states unless he looks like Mick Jagger, not acts or behaves like Mick Jagger. So that nullifies that arguement.

Mick Jagger

Seeing as there are many many songs, I don't suspect this will be my last blog on Music, stay tuned. If you have any suggestions, or similar things feel free to leave them in the comments.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

3 Lessons on technology

Here are three simple lessons on technology underthinking it styles. The first stems from the other day when I was helping my Granddad with his new t.v. and it struck me that is very difficult for older people to pick up technology. It also dawned on me that the reason for this struggle is underthinking on their part, it is in fact the opposite, they need to know exactly how to do something before they attempt to do it.

Step 22: Open mouth as you raise sandwich towards your face

Young people aren't born with the innate ability to use technology it is just they underthink it, they just do things without worrying. They aren't afraid of failing if something doesn't work they just try something else, its not like things will break.

Yeah Technology is kid proof...
So okay it does break, so what gives the youth the freedom to try things, so they learn things quickly and intuitively, whereas adults need step by step instructions. It is the same reason kids are better and learning foreign languages, its not that they are any better, it is they aren't afraid to make mistakes. By making mistakes and being corrected they learn faster, because they are teaching themselves. The reason they aren't afraid is they don't care what people think of them, they aren't embarrassed by anything.

And I do mean anything...


The second thing that I noticed about older people, is when it come to text messages they definitely fall into two groups, the under-adapters and the overadapters. The thing with a text message is that you get limited characters to get you message across, so you must choose your words wisely.

The Underadapter, is from the letter writing brigade where you open by addressing the recipient, ie Hello Patrick, and close by signing off your name ie. Yours Truly Francis.
This is nice ans formal and makes people feel appreciated, the problem is you have just used up 32 precious characters, that is 20% of your resources. And unnecessary characters at that, firstly you have sent the text to the recipient so they are aware to whom it may concern, and unless it is a first time text they most likely have your number stored in their phone, so know who it is from.

I wonder if this is from Kenny, he didn't sign off, so I guess we will never know?

The overadapter, they on the other hand have seen the young kids text. They know what it is about, you have to abbreviate. The problem is to them the kids these days are just dropping letters of wily-nily so they will do the same. So you end up with messages like this from them...

Cn u p u he mk frm the day   (Can you pick up the milk from the dairy)

That means nothing, although it appears the youth are dropping random letters they are still keeping enough for the message to be decipherable. The overadapters messages require a crack team of cryptographers to read the message before you know what they want.
I think he wants you to pick up some milk from the store


Just in case you thought technology only baffles old people let me end with this. Young people these days have become so used to discpod's, iphones, and the like with their touchscreen techology, they are often baffled when they encounter things that have screens that aren't touch-sensitive.

How the frick do you change the effing channel on this thing.


    Want to keep Underthinking? Try one these.