Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Underthinking the Highlanders

So if you live in the south of the South Island of New Zealand, (incidentally who was in charge of naming islands the day they found New Zealand?)

"Look I have just named a million bays, coves, mountains, and I am running out of crew to name it after, just put it down as South Island for now and we will come back to it."
 ...you will have an opinion on jersey change of the Highlanders and if current poll are to be believed 90% of you will be opposed to the idea. So for those of you that don't know the Highlanders, who are the local rugby team have decided to change their jerseys.

And after 10 years of just cleaning them with water, it is probably about time, they stink
 No of course its not that, and it is not just a simple rejig either, or the existing colours, I mean there have been many permutations of the Highlanders jersey's of the last 10-15 years.
They have had stripes, and tartan on the shoulders, but always using the base colours of blue and gold, which have been their traditional colours. In recent years to recognise the prominence of Southland within the region, maroon has been added as a major colour.

Tartan, random sporadic lines, whatever....
But the rumour on the ground is, that the Jersey will be completely overhauled this year. Green has been a word bandied about a lot by the media and the public, note the Highlanders have not confirmed or denied green, but normally when there is smoke there is fire.

Unless you have one of those machines that use dry ice.
Green? The closest place to the Highlanders catchment that wears green is South Canterbury, but since they want disclose whether or not green is the new colour we don't even know what shade of green it is.

There is only one black coloured pencil, but at least 7 greens, the options are endless. (or 7)

Now I have heard various arguements for the reason to change the colours to green from the idiot management team at the Highlanders.

1/. The Highlander have no tradition

How long does a team need to exist before is it considered to have a tradition? 10 years, 20 years, 100 years?
If a team isn't that old then how can it ever build a tradition? This argument is also bandied about by the idiots on radio sport about the IPL, they want follow it because there is no tradition? That makes no sense, if you don't create new teams, and let them run for years you can never build up tradition.

What if Pamplona had decided to pack it in after 5 years, because there was no tradition? How would we cull the idiots out of our breeding population then?
Things need to be given time to develop tradition, and I think at 15 years the Highlanders are on the way to having a tradition, sure its not the 100 years of the Otago Rugby team, or the great EPL clubs. But it is a start, and if we restart now, haven't we just wasted 15 years that could have been used to build the tradition?

2/. Most of the players don't come from Otago anymore

So what? The team is just a collection of 22 guys that change most years, even most weeks that happen to wear the jersey that represents their hosts. The region were their team is based. And the team is based in Otago/Southland, neither of which have green in their traditional colours. You can't base the Jersey on the players otherwise you would have to change it ever year, and it would get messy, if all the players came from different regions.

"Okay we have represented Fred from West Coast, and Bill from Manawatu, and Jim from Nelson Bays, we will just slap a patch on for Jamie from Southland"
3/. We have been losing for years, so this wipes the slate clean.

The beauty of sport, (and this relates to the tradition element) is that you have periods of losses, and wins, and mixed seasons. You need to remember all of these to be a true fan. Those years of losses help to make the year you win feel some much better because you were there during the bad times. That is why I feel bad for Crusaders fans, because they never suffer many losses, because they rort the salary cap for all its worth, they never suffer, so their joy never reaches the dizzying heights, a black caps or warriors fan can achieve.

"Why did he eat that fish curry. WHY WHY?"

The other problem I see with 90% of people being opposed to this decision, then who is going to buy the merchandise, and the fans with the old colours will not look like supporters in the crowd, which they would have if they just re-jigged design not the colours. You don't mess with that they are sacred.

"We probably should have consulted the public before pre-ordering all these green shirts"

Friday, May 27, 2011

Underthinking Planking

So its the craze of every bodies mind at the moment. Planking, seems harmless enough, you just lie down  on stomach, with your arms at your side at have a blank expression on your side. I don't really get it, I mean I am pretty sure I have been planking for years. Since I don't have a picture of myself sleeping, presumably because I have never dated Steve Tyler, who doesn't want to miss a thing.
Look given bad lighting, and a lot of alcohol, it could happen....

 I had to resort to using someone else sleeping on their stomach.

On Stomach: Check, Expressionless: Check, Arm position: Fail
 So it turns out sleeping on your stomach, doesn't qualify for planking status as your arms are cocked, and up by your head. (I assume that this ladies style of sleeping represents everyone who has ever slept on their stomach)
But wait that is traditional sleeping what about people who have come home from a rather large night on the town and just collapsed into bed.

On Stomach: Check, Expressionless: Check, Arm Position: Better
It's still not really planking is it, and the legs splayed apart doesn't really look elegant. Also it would appear that planking is more than just the body position it is doing it in a location that is not a bed, and also the more death defying it is the better.

Also Bizarre helps get your plank up into the realms of great planking
Now there has already been one plank related death, this year, and since I only heard about planking two weeks ago, I assume that's when it started, that makes planking as an dangerous activity (i refuse to call it a sport) as mountain climbing or bear fighting.
A good way to pass your weekends.
Now I am not sure about you, but if I died during an activity I would rather it be, for me wrestling some dangerous animal, than lying down. I mean both are stupid pointless activity, but at least with bear wrestling people would be impressed.
"He was wrestling a bear?! Cool"
"I am sorry, I shouldn't laugh, but he was lying down? Really?"
There are definite risks involved in planking, make sure you are prepared, and plank responsibly. It is very important that you have a strong core, there is nothing worse than a limp plank.
This guy better get an Ab Circle Pro, before he attempts to plank again.
Luckily for the guy in the photo above, his plank was close to the ground, but if he was attempting a more extreme plank, it could have been the second planking related death.

This plank was made possible, through the Ab roller
The other thing that concerns me about planking is how many people will die now, because people have passed out, and swallow their tongues, and no one came to their aid because they just assumed they were planking?

"Dave, this is no time to be planking.....Dave...Dave...oh god he isn't planking."

Monday, May 23, 2011

Underthinking Wellywood

Alright, this Wellywood malarkey really has to be discussed on this site due to the large amount of underthinking that has gone on. For those of you from overseas, or who have just got your internet USB stick back from your courier....

"Oh good my internet is here"
...Wellington airport has a large block of unused land on a cliff face beside them , that they didn't know what to do with. I am guessing they investigating converting it to Dairy, because that's what everyone else in NZ does with land. After a lot of R and D it was decided this was impossible.

"Look I just don't see how we can put fit climbing cleats on this cow...."
So they decided the best thing to do would be to build a sign, seems reasonable, the planes fly past this large area, and so it is the perfect place to say anything you want. Given the number of people that fly past this area, they decided they should commission an advertising agency to come up with something witty and informative.

And this is what they came up with?
Yeah that's right a giant Hollywood sign, you know because they make movies in Wellington -get it? do you get it?

"Yeah I get it, its just not funny."
I mean I don't have a huge problem with a Hollywood sign, the large white letters stand out on the hill side, so it is a good way of portraying your message, at any time of the day. It has worked wonders for the bustling metropolis of Mosgiel.

As a side note, I believe the reason for the large sign at Mosgiel was due to the large proportion of Elderly residents, so that they would stop forgetting where they lived.

"Where do I live?"
But at least Mosgiel just used their name, not Mollywood, or what ever it would be called. The advertising agency is under the impression that movie people aren't interested in places that don't end in -wood.

A name change is in order I think

There I fixed it.
Advertising agencies like to think they are in the know like that, I liked particularly how as a cutting remark, the guy in charge of Wellywood sign, said  

"Of course, there are some objectors to this idea – the same have complained about naming the airport Wild at Heart, about the design of the Rock, who don't like Snapper, or the brand of the buses – Go Wellington – and who don't understand Z is for New Zealand."

Firstly I wasn't aware the airport in Wellington was named, so I don't fit into that category, although if I did know the airport was called Wild at Heart I would have laughed. Seriously most named airports are named after influential people JFK airport, Charles De Gaulle airport, etc... Wild at Heart sounds like the airport was named by an 80's hairband.

Wellington Airport board of directors.
People that don't like the design of the Rock. I am not sure what the Rock is, but I assume he is means people who are offended by stones.

"What a terrible design"
Apparently people that enjoy fishing, or eating fish, don't like the Wellywood sign either.
I assume the corollary of that is these two gentlemen like the Wellywood concept.
My favourite is the last one though, people that don't understand Z stands for New Zealand. This is of course referring to the re-branding of Shell in New Zealand to Z. I had no idea why they picked the letter Z, apparently though its because it stands for New Zealand.

New Zealand, obviously
 Well it doesn't NZ stands for New Zealand, Z stands for nothing. If I am writing my address and want to abbreviate the country, I write NZ, not Z. If I wrote Z I presume my bills would end up in Zimbabwe, or Zaire.

"Why do I keep getting John Key's mail?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Underthinking Tour de France and Drugs

So yesterday a list got leaked that ranked all cyclists that competed in the Tour de France last year based on how likely they were thought to be using drugs to give them an unfair advantage. The scale was ranked from 0 - not likely to ever use drugs to 10 - more likely to be using drugs then eating.

Russell Brand scored a 20
Stating that being on drugs in the Tour de France gives you an unfair advantage is probably looking at it the wrong way though, more like not being on drugs in the Tour de France gives you a disadvantage.

If you are not on drugs in the Tour de France you might as well be riding this bike.
Pretty much every winner of the Tour de France in the last 15 years has either been up to their eyeballs in drugs, some have been caught some have not.

"I swear if you tell anyone your dead!"
And really I don't care, I mean I am pretty sure I would need a lot of drugs to get through 3 weeks of cycling around mountainous regions, and covering almost 4000 km.

"Hey have you got any drugs, I have only gone 20km and I am already tired."
 Just don't lie about it just come out in the open and tell everyone that you are on drugs. And just make it legal to use performance enhancing drugs. That way you can be sure its an even playing field, and would save people having to find someone else's urine to hand into WADA.

"Hey Bro, can you pee in this cup for me? I have race tomorrow"
I mean no one really like peeing in a cup....

"I like peeing in a cup, its tasty"
 Well almost no-one, Bear Grylls being the exception to the rule. If you had all the cyclists juiced up, you could even give a yellow lab coat to the Scientist whose drug fuelled cyclist is currently leading the race.
Dr Frank Pennypacker - Current leader in the doping race.
That way you could also appease the people that complain we put athletes on a pedestal and make them heroes, so kids aspire to be like them and neglect their school work. Seeing the winning doping scientist might encourage kids to stick with chemistry.
"When I grow up, I am going to dope the Winner of the Tour de France"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Underthinking Ambulances

This story is rather intriguing, apparently in an attempt to save some money a lot of people in Otago are registering their cars as ambulances.  Apparently Otago has 230 registered ambulances, compared to the 251 in Auckland, which has about 10 times the population.

The busy streets of Otago, always clogged full of ambulances.
Given these numbers this either means people are registering their cars as ambulances illegally, or there is a severe shortage of ambulances in Auckland.
I tend to believe it is the former, but why would people be doing this. Well it costs $60.00 a year to register an ambulance and 287.00 - 475.00 to register a private vehicle depending on the fuel type.

The nuclear powered Ford Nucleon would have bankrupt most countries to register 
The fine for being caught falsely registering your car as an ambulance, is $1000. So realistically you only have to get away for it twice for it to pay for itself. I am not advocating registering your car as an ambulance falsely, but just saying the penalty doesn't seem like much.
It also got me thinking though, what is the definition of an ambulance? I mean surely there is one, that you have to check off. And if I could met the criteria I could save myself some cash legally. Unfortunately navigating the NZTA website is like getting through the labyrinth.

NZTA media manager Andy Knackstedt
So I will just have to speculate, I presume to be an ambulance you only need two things.

1./ Medical supplies - $100

So presumabely since an ambulance takes people to the hospital you need some sort of medical supplies, I saw a pretty decent first aid kit on 1-day, the other week for like $30.

Should be enough to deal with cuts and lost limbs till you get to hospital
You maybe called out for cardiac problems to, so you might want to pick yourself up some good jumper cables just in case there are problems on route. Probably another $20.

I understand the chest part, but what is she doing with the red wire?
You also probably want some training to deal with seriously medical situations with your supplies, so probably suggest some one that is good at improvising.

Okay lesson 54: How to administer an enema
 2/. Take some one to hospital - free (maybe gas)
Also you probably need to be able to be called in case of emergency. Now given you are just doing this to save cash you probably don't want to be called every hour of everyday, so don't sign up to 111 service.

"What some one else needs picked up?? Seriously!!!"
But you probably do need to do one or two jobs a year, just to satisfy the authorities you actually are an ambulance. So just use word of mouth, that way you can probably limit the severity of injuries you have to deal with in your ambulance. Just taking your mate Fred to hospital with a suspected sprained ankle will probably satisfy the authorities.

"I will give you a lift Fred, I need to tick one off this year"
So there you go, for that initial $100 a year, you will have be saving yourself between $200- $400 a year, and be secure in the knowledge, you helped at least (probably at most) 1 person out as well.

If that doesn't sound like you, just be like this lady, who registered her car as a hearse and just carry around some frozen chickens, and you can legitimately say you are transporting dead bodies.

Poor, Chicky he was so young. We have opted to get him turned into a double down instead of burial.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Underthinking FIFA/IOC

So today I saw this story about more corruption allegations with FIFA regarding the allocation of hosting rights for their Soccer World Cup. Apparently people have asked for everything from Education centres, television broadcasts to honorary knighthoods in exchange for a vote.

"You got my vote, this is sweet"
The problem I see is that the way the process is set up, how can countries expect to put themselves ahead of the other countries without offering gifts or return votes. I mean essentially all the services you can offer is the same, so the only way to make yourself stand out is to offer the voters something.
"Crap, which country gave me this bribe"
As long as it is a voting process people are going to offer things to put themselves ahead, and whether or not its bribery is a matter of semantics. I mean clearly cash is a bribe, but where does the line stop, if you give someone a free holiday to your host city is that a bribe, or just showing them what you have to offer? Clearly you will put them in a good hotel to show off your city, putting the voter up in a hostel is not likely to endear yourself to the voters.

Not helping obtain votes.
Also with this lobbying process the city ends up spending a lot of money not even sure that they will get the event. It doesn't seem like the best way, too much money is exchanged and in these tough times we need to find a way to reduce costs.

"We need to cut your spending"

So I propose a new method of selecting the host city for major sporting events (and apologises if you have read this before, it was a fb status of mine once) it is a two fold process.

1./ Eligibility 

Every city that wants to host the event sends a proposal to the relevant sporting organisation. The sporting organisation puts together a team of two that travels to all the cities to find out whether they have the infrastructure to host the event. i.e. Is their accommodation up to scratch?

"Yeah, I am not sure this will sustain an extra 20,000 people for two weeks"
Do they have adequate transportation network?
"Is it possible you could put on another couple of trains?"
Are their sporting facilities up to scratch?

"So where exactly is the media box?"

Once the two man team gives the city the A-ok, they get put on the list of cities that can host the event.

"Its all good"
2/. Selection

In the normal selection process once the cities have been selected to be voted for, they seem to be rather minor arguments for one city over the other. Better night life, or greater history for the game, or wonderful scenery. Each of these things, while being worth consideration seem like a rather arbitrary way to select a host. Like comparing apples to oranges.
"Yes they are different"

 So I purpose that once you have proven your city can host the event, your name is put in a barrel and the host is just selected by way of a random draw.  I mean the ability to host is the main thing, the added extras you provide is just a bonus.

"And the next host of the soccer world cup is....
There are some things that need to be tweaked in my method, i.e. in FIFA they like to spread it round the different regions, but this can be taken into account in the eligibility step. Only countries that are from the region you want can put forward a proposal that year.
Nice try England, Europe hosted the World Cup recently.
I don't see too many major flaws in my proposal, but if you do let me know.

    Want to keep Underthinking? Try one these.