Sunday, September 25, 2011

Underthinking Daylight Savings

So today is only 23 hours long, since in the spirit of spring cleaning we decided to do a tidy up and we decided 2am - 3am was just unnecessary clutter which we weren't really using anymore so we decided to get rid of them.
"Yeah, it's just some old clothes and the hours between 2-3am who needs those"

We do this every year, and then around autumn we realise we have made a mistake and we pull that hour out and have it twice in a row. So why do we do this? Where did this daylight saving idea come from? New Zealand's own George Vernon Hudson actually.

George Vernon Hudson - Father of Daylight saving, and by the looks of it a handy paper plane designer.
As well as designing paper planes, George was a keen entomologist in his spare time. An entomologist is a bug collector the problem George noticed was that after work there wasn't a lot of daylight for him to find bugs. There was plenty of daylight before work but who wants to go searching for bugs around breakfast.

"WTF! I was sleeping, I like eating bugs as much as the next person, but its 7am!"
So George figured we could just shift the hours of the day, so that those wasted daylight hours were in the evening instead of the morning. George originally proposed a 2 hour shift, I presume since you need a lot of time to find bugs.

It looks like a stick, you aren't going to find that in 5 mins.
At the same time independantly in England William Willett was getting sick of playing golf in the dusk so came up with the same conclusion as George.

William Willett - Nonchalant
So it was decided that to increase everyone's leisure time, and save on coal to adopt daylight savings. And everyone was happy and there were no problems. Actually there were problems, for one farmers weren't too impressed.

"Milking the cows in the morning light, do do do di di"

"What the hell?"
Yeah, by shifting the daylight to after work, it means the farmer is now milking the cows in the pitch black, other people were having issues with it too. Theatre owners struggle since its lighter later people are more likely to do outdoor activities than go to the theatre.

"Where are all my theatre patrons?"

"Guys want to go to theatre?"
"Nah screw that, BEACHBALL"

So not everyone is happy with this, which has lead to some problems, since not everyone has adapted the policy. This doesn't really affect us in NZ since we aren't in the same time zone as anyone. But in Australia for example NSW observes daylight saving and Queensland does not. Which must cause havoc in towns on the border. People from the New South Wales side must think the Queenslanders are lazy since they are always an hour late to meetings and the such. No wonder Queenslanders keep pummeling NSW, the NSWers are probably ready for bed, by the time the game starts.

"Has anyone seen the Queenslanders? They said be here at 8, I am sleepy"
So who is right? Well it really depends on if your a morning person or an evening person, a man of work or a man of leisure. There have been numerous studies from both sides of the arguments citing energy use, both increases and decreases. There are health risks associated with it, in fact the government of Kazakhstan abolished DST due to increased heart attacks.

"No more daylight savings. It is good Yes? Jenqui."
Daylight savings transitions also allow the battery cartels to sell us more batteries by reminding us that it might be time for new batteries in our smoke alarms, and since we don't want to be woken in the middle of the night with a flat battery, we change the battery irregardless of age because we can't remember if we did it last time or not.

"Did I change those batteries last time?"
"More Money, More Money, More Money"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Underthinking Rugby Jersey Manufacturing

So I attended the Argentina vs England RWC match at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Just for clarity it has been renamed Otago Stadium for the duration of the World Cup, because apparently the fact that this company helped fund its construction does not mean anything. Also its fun to confuse foreigners.

"So there's a Stadium there, but it says Otago Stadium on it, and this map says Forsyth Barr Stadium"
Seriously I understand that the IRB signs deals with sponsors for a lot of money, but they seemed to have sold things that don't belong to them. My body for a start, I am not allowed to wear clothing to a game that predominately displays a rival sponsors logo on it.

Which means no NASCAR driver can attend any match.
But I have digressed my concern was with the English rugby teams jerseys. I don't really care that they are black, although the argument that white and blue striped tops would clash with white jerseys is tenuous at best.

"Wait, oh crap I thought you were on my team, due to the white. Due to the speed I have chosen to ignore the difference between red and blue."
I am more concerned with the fact the English numbers wouldn't stay on, at one point Johnny Wilkinson was playing in number 1U, which I thought was quite innovative for a normally traditional RFU.

"GO AWAY, your numbers are a disgrace"
 This coupled with Sonny Bills ripped shirt (I will not be posting pictures of this) and brought back memories of the first time Adidas manufactured the All Black jersey's and they just fell off. I guess they were trying to use revolutionary fabrics.

This scientist wished to remain anonymous after a failed experiment with tissue paper as Rugby jersey's.

I guess what I want to know is how do these major manufacturers test their jerseys? Perhaps after years of manufacturing soccer jerseys, they are not aware of the rigours a Rugby jersey faces.

"Well it looks pretty strong, lets go with it"
I mean the SBW jersey was a one off, and can be explained away as a defect, but the English numbers and the 1999 AB's Jerseys the whole team had issues.
So that would suggest a lack of testing.

Perhaps Nike and Adidas should outsource to these guys.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Underthinking Fat kids.

So today some poor guy named Paul Kramer is taking a lot of flack for writing a book "Maggie goes on a diet".

His brother Cosmo got nothing but adulation for his coffee table book about coffee tables.
The fuss seems to be that advocating a young child (particularly a young girl) goes on a diet is a dangerous idea. To some extent I agree, a young person should not go a crash diet, but going on a diet doesn't necessarily mean restricting intake of carbs, protein or food altogether.

The no-food diet is not recommended.
If I change my diet, that might be as simple as only eating McDonalds 7 times a week, instead of the typical 21 times. I think people are skipping the real issue is Paul Kramer really the best person to be offering advice on weight loss?
Those 6 chins indicate the answer is NO.

Its like when I go to my local gym and see the Zumba instructors, a lot of them appear to be the fattest person in the room.

Wait what?!
You teach this weight loss exercise? I don't think works.
The other issue people have with this book, is that it apparently it glorifies people making fun of fat people. Here's my point of view there are multiple major contributors to societies health problems, smoking, drinking and fatties. See if you can pick the odd one out.

Smoking: Vilified, I can tell you you should stop
Drinking is halfway, because to some extent the damage drinking does to the body is under acknowledged, but drink-driving is not.

Drink Driving: Vilified, I can tell you to stop drinking.
But fatties, we are told are happy in their body, and we have no right to tell them to lose weight because they are comfortable. I am not saying everyone should have a rippling 6-pack, just I should be allowed to tell the guy who can't fit in an airplane seat to buy a second one, instead of increasing the size of seats to cater to him.

"Wait I can't have an extra 2 kilo in my bag, but you can have an extra 50 kilo in your ass?"
And I know some fat people have serious disorders that make them that way. But for the vast majority of them, it is as simple as going for a walk, or a run, or for some standing up every so often.

"That chair is like 3ft away, quite a work out"
And reducing their energy intake, so think about a piece of fruit instead of biscuit, or maybe a cupcake instead of cake for those at the extreme end of the scale.

When your definition of a little sweet is a cake, you know you have problems.

I mean if you want to lose weight eat less food then you require for your energy output, and if you want to maintain eat the same amount. It's not rocket science.

I just ran this simulation and if Energy in < Energy out I lose weight, I am glad I spent 3 years studying this.

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