Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Underthinking Twitter's Usefullness

So today I spotted a headline on that read "Twitter saves carjacked man" this caught my attention, I mean I had heard of someone called Twiggy, but Twitter what an unusual name.

Twiggy didn't talk about her brother Twitter that often.
Having a unusual name is cool, but I don't know if it is new worthy, perhaps this Twitter, was some sort of animal who had thwarted the car-jackers?

"Good job Twitter!"
Turns out the story was talking about the website twitter, which is designed to let people send their text messages to everyone in the world instead of to a specific person. I thought this will be interesting maybe the guy tweeted his message and then it got re-tweeted until the car-jacker saw it, and felt bad pulled over and let the guy out.

"Oh wow, I should let that guy out"

Nope wrong again, turns out the guy texted his girlfriend, who tweeted the number plate and told people to be on the look out for that car. Oh that't cool someone saw the tweet and then caught the guys?

"Get out of the car, I know its stolen I saw the tweet"
Not quite, someone, hopefully the girlfriend called the police, who used the man's cellphone to trace the car and arrested the car-jackers and freed the man. This news was then relayed via Twitter. Twitter is then credited with saving this man.

"Wait, What?!"
My thoughts exactly Dwyane "The Rock" Johnson, it appears to be that Twitter did nothing in this situation at all it was merely an on-looker in this entire situation that reporter the events as it happened. Remove Twitter from the story the man still gets saved, unless of course the girlfriend didn't ring the police and someone who read the original tweet did.

"Ugh, My stupid boyfriend has been carjacked and  I don't know what to do?"
This is the equivalent of honoring the radio broadcaster who was announcing live how the pilot managed to safely land the jet on the Hudson river. They told you what was happening, but they weren't really implicit in the heroic act.

"Here's the real hero, I just landed the plane, she announced it"
My real question is why did the car-jackers put the guy in the boot, and not just leave him on the side of the road? If you were going to kill him, kill him there, I mean were they planning on dropping him home?

"See ya, hope you enjoyed the carjacking today"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Underthinking Lotto Jackpot

I always apologise for not writing enough, so I won’t today, but attempt to win you back with dedicated writing of the blog, also I have been asked by many people to start it up again.

Can you please write your blog again.

So today I have been thinking about this story, where a checkout operator in training in Countdown has won 26.5 million dollars in the lotto, and has vowed to remain at work. On first glance this seems like a good decision I mean money shouldn’t change your life, and sure he has a lot of money now but it could disappear quickly, so retaining employment is a wise decision, and you don’t want to leave others in the lurch with your sudden departure.  Then I thought a bit deeper about the situation, firstly it is not like it would be hard to replace him, nor is his work so specialized its of vital importance for the company to retain him.

Unlike the safety inspector at Chernobyl –who quit the day after he won lotto with disastrous results 
 Secondly it’s not like he needs the job right now, Labour keeps banging on about the high rate of unemployment, surely he is a position now to step aside and let a schoolgirl do his job. 

Thanks to Trevor, young Mary will never fulfill  her ambition of being a checkout chick.
Thirdly he didn’t win $10000 which is handy but not life-changing he won 26.5 millions which if invested wisely is enough that one never has to work again. At the very least this amount of money gives you a buffer to take a few years out to retrain in a field with a more stable progression path and one in which you won’t be replaced with a computer in a couple of years.

Pictured: Trevor in 1 year.

Although on the wise investment front, I am not sure Trevor is up to it, I mean theoretically he already has no money. On Campbell live last night he said, and I quote "Mate, I could bet you $26.5 million I'll be at that check out tomorrow morning. The company I work for is just one big family, we all look after each other. I couldn't ask for a better place to work.". The story confirms Trevor didn’t show up to work this morning, and in NZ verbal contracts are binding, especially recorded ones. So I guess this means John Campbell is $26.5 million dollars richer.

"Trevor lives here, and I am going to collect on my bet"
Trevor cited the people he works with as a reason to stay in his job, surely at his job it would be frowned upon to just hang out a lot, so Trevor could just arrange to meet his favorite colleagues ever night or every Friday at the local for a drink. Also how much does Trevor actually love his workplace seeing as he brought the winning ticket at a Foursquare, when he works at a Countdown?

Although I have to admit this cheery little fellow is irresistible.
Trevor claimed he lived week-to-week like 90% of people, (I am pretty sure he made up that statistic, 2/3 of people know you can just make up statistics). I am sure on minimum wage he was tight for cash, but surely asking your mum for $50 for petrol so you can show her your 26.5 million winning lottery check is really tight. I think Trevor may have been living day-to-day at best. Surely if you have a guaranteed 26.5 million coming, you could splurge on a tank of gas.

"Andddd......that's 2pm, now I can fill up'
The other interesting point of this story is where Trevor is described as “NZ most eligible bachelor”, interesting no source is given, I am guessing his mum said that. I don’t mean to be presumptuous but I don’t think being lucky enough to win lotto is a trait women tend to look for in a mate. The type of woman you attract, that have bank balance at the top of their ideal qualities in a mate are probably not the type Trevor wants or needs. Incidentally I am pretty sure Cleo just named NZBachelor of the year last week and Trevor wasn’t even in the running.

Maybe I am mistaken and this guy was just the last person to win a large lotto jackpot, I mean why else would ladies be attracted to him??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Underthinking Crafer farms

So today the High Court decided that the Overseas Investment Office didn't interpret the economic benefit to NZ properly therefore they should reconsider the offer by the Chinese to buy the farms.

Having spent several years moonlighting as a Chinese Tea Farmer I feel qualified to discuss this.
First of all the only reason that this was sent to the high court, was a consortium lead by Sir Michael Fay, who bid $40 million dollars less than the Chinese Bid and were upset they didn't win it.

"Wait a minute, don't you mean $40 million dollars more?"
No, 44th President of the United States Barak Obama, they were offering $40 million dollars less then the winning bid, so they lost.
"Hmm, seems about right to me, so I will change my tie"
Yes, especially since the High Court ruling states that the economic benefit of selling to the Chinese needs to be reconsidered. Well here's a start it's $40 million beneficial to sell to the Chinese then it is to Fay and co.

According to Underthinking it economist Kepler Stratenberg, it does seem better
Michael Fay's argument is that the land is going to be taken out of New Zealand ownership, which is bad. I see two flaws with his arguement.

A/. He is not adverse to selling NZ assets to foreigners.

In the 1980's to fund his yacht racing habit, as well as embark on a breeding programme to produce a great NZ singer.....

The success of which, is yet to be determined.
... Sir Mick decided to buy up NZ rail and sell all the valuable copper to foreigners at a profit. Sounds good, except the copper was quite important for a efficient rail network.

"I will be taking these"

So I am not entirely convinced he wouldn't buy the farms and then turn around and sell them to some other foreigner.

B/. They aren't in NZ hands

Last I checked the Crafers went bankrupt and since they owed most of their money to the Banks, the Banks now own them. Which banks I am not entirely sure, but I do know it's not Kiwibank, and thanks to their little green car, I know the other banks are Australian owned.

The little green car of Knowledge as I like to call it.

So even worse than Chinese people owning it, the Australians do!

We got your land Mate.

Maybe that's why Russell "Rusty" Norman is so against selling it to the Chinese?

"If I can stop them selling it to the Chinese, we Aussies can keep it."

So I don't think Michael Fay has got a case, in saying that I don't necessarily think its a good thing to sell to the Chinese, but I think the Overseas investment offices rules need to be tightened. The first point should be to check if we can buy land in the country of the person wanting to buy land here.
Because as far as I am aware I can't buy Chinese land, so they shouldn't be allowed to buy land here. Do unto others blah blah...

"I am sorry China, but you didn't let us have some of yours"

I guess the biggest flaw I see in this whole thing was the idiot that allowed the Crafer's to put this land into one big parcel, so the receiver is trying to sell it as one. If the farms had remained as 17 independent units it would be easier to sell to Kiwi farmers.
So I guess, I can't believe I am saying this,  I agree with Winston Peters..

Split the land up into parcels, and sell it that way, give kiwis a realistic opportunity at buying it

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Underthinking Manliness

So I have started to notice these strange ads coming out of America, regarding the manliness of his drink choice. Which we have all done before, there are just certain drinks that a man shouldn't drink unless he is on his stag do and it is some sort of humiliation.

If you are drinking a cosmopolitan, you better be wearing a ball and chain and have an inflatable sheep strapped to you.
 That is fine, especially since the topic of these ads are light beer, which is like real beer but with less calories. And what is more unmanly then counting calories.

Light beer here. My tushie is getting too big.
But apparently after watching the ad (below) that wasn't what they were getting at....

Apparently it is unmanly NOT to drink light beer, say what?! This is would be a pretty good ad apart from the conclusion they are making.
So a real man will choose his drink based on the calorie content of it? This doesn't seem right. What's the calorie content of your favourite beer legendary All Black Colin Meads?

"The Flaming WHAT?! content?, what are you talking 'bout you mongrel"
Exactly I thought as much, in fact outside of America how many beers market themselves on calorie content. In NZ, light beer is beer with a lower alcohol content. Not less calories, in fact does anyone know, do we have low calorie beer in this country?

This is low-carb, which quite different if scienticians are to be believed.

I think maybe if they had targeted this ad, to suggest that not drinking light beer was 2nd most unhealthy decision today it would have made more sense since watching your calorie intake is more to do with your health than you manliness.

In case you were wondering the most unhealthy thing was the breakfast he chose.

I guess everyone has differences of opinion of what makes a man a man from wrestling bears for entertainment, to just being a good father.

"So, how was school?"
But I am pretty sure on anyone's list from Staff Sgt. Max Fightmaster (it's a real name, see!) to the most feminist of feminists, no one would suggest that drinking a low calorie beer made you manly.

OK, maybe the advertising company responsible for the ad, but no one else's list.
What frightens me even more is that it wasn't just one advertising agency that took low calories to mean more manly.

Oh gawd, it's spreading...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Underthinking Laser pointers

So on my drive yesterday I heard on the radio some boy has been charged on 5 counts of endangering transport. At first I thought what the hell was this kid doing that he endangered TRANSPORT? Did single-handedly wipe out all the oil in the world? as well as all forms of alternative energy, and all animals of carrying load? Who is this person?

"Okay, now I have taken out donkeys, time to get rid of all the oil"
Reading on further it turns out the name of the charge that means you did something to endanger a single unit of transport as opposed to all of it.
This kid had been sitting at his house with his laser pointer at planes overhead as well as the police helicopter that was looking for him, because that is how he planned to stay incognito.

"Look Bill, there are like a million houses down there, we will never find this kid...Oh wait there he is"
Some of you, are saying big deal, a wee dot isn't going to effect a pilots ability to fly. That is true but by the time that wee dot reaches the plane it is enought to light up the whole cabin.
Presumably that they have achieved the Disco effect for the Richard Simmons in-flight instructional.

"Tell that kid with the yellow laser he has got it just right'
But it actually is really dangerous, I am not saying the prosecution is underthinking. I don't actually understand the motivation of people that point the laser pointers at planes as they fly overhead. The impact on the pilots is horrendous, but from the ground you can hardly tell you have a plane can you?

"I think I pointing it at a plane, or maybe stars or a planet, nah it's definitely a plane"

How fun can it actually be? If you actually want to have fun with a laser pointer you just point it at the wall and confuse the family cat.

Haha, hilarious. but I digress. Although that video has 26,000 views maybe I should just change this site, into  collection of cats chasing laser videos.
But maybe we misunderstand the miscreant, maybe he was trying to point out a plane flying by to one of his friends, and they just couldn't see it. We have all tried to show someone something in the distance and been exasperated by the experience.

"Follow my finger...Just follow my finger...what the hell Billy? You are looking completely opposite direction"
 You get to the point where you feel like grabbing their head and twist it in the correct direction and even then they still manage to not see it.

"Nah, still can't see it eh."
The poor kid was probably going through a similar situation and said screw it, I am using a laser pointer because this is getting ridiculous.

"F***n right there, right there, god damn it"

Monday, January 23, 2012

Underthinking Awkward questions

So I missed Friday's entry sorry about that, was slightly busy being a Doctor.

Can I use a misquote in a community newspaper on an Academic CV?
So my apologies, in the weekend I was reading an article that suggested it had the top 10 most awkward questions asked my kids. I was looking forward to reading this article, to see some cringe-worthy questions. I was expecting "Where do babies come from?", "Why were you and Uncle Francisco wrestling on the bed last night?" and "How long until you give birth dad?"

I would say Sextuplets in the next few minutes.

Instead what I got was a list of questions that were reasonably difficult to answer on the spot, but anyone with a normal education should have an educated guess at, or a smartphone could answer in 3 seconds.

"And that kids is where babies come from.."
The only thing awkward about these questions was the fact you weren't clever enough to give the answer or know how to find it out immediately. I knew the article was off to a bad start when it listed three question in what it claimed was order of increasing difficultly.

1/. "Would a shark beat a dinosaur in a fight?"
2/. "Why is the sky blue?"
3/. "How much does the earth weigh?"

It claimed question 3 was near impossible to answer, where as it is probably the easiest to answer as it has a numerical answer, something do with Newtons laws and what not but a quick trip to the google machine nets an estimate of 6,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg.

That possibly doesn't take into account earth's new exercise regime.
Question 2, I guess slightly more abstract and you can mumble things about the light spectrum and rainbows, until google tells you it is because of the Rayleigh scattering.
Question 3. which they claim is simple is probably the hardest of all the questions due to the lack of information in the formation of it. Google was no help at all. First of all what kind of shark and what kind of dinosaur are we talking about. If it was a dogfish vs a Raptor then probably a Raptor as evidenced by these photos.

Round 1 : Dinosaurs.

Even if you knew the species in the fight, the location of the fight would probably have a large effect on the outcome, on land - Dinosaur, in the deep sea - Shark. In the Shallows then all bets are off. Would the t-rex's short arms prove a hindrance? Would it just be able to fall on the shark? In which case is there even a winner?

"Ok Billy, you really have stumped Mummy, I will build some scale replicas and we will run some simulations on it"
So here for your eyes is the list of the most "awkward" questions children ask.

The 10 most awkward questions:
1. Why is the moon sometimes out in the day? 
2. Why is the sky blue?
3. Will we ever discover aliens?
4. How much does the earth weigh?
5. How do airplanes stay in the air?
6. Why is water wet?
7. How do I do long division?
8. Where do birds/bees go in winter?
9. What makes a rainbow?
10. Why are there different time zones on earth?

Most of these questions can be answered with some basic knowledge for example, Question 10. Why are there different time zones on earth? the earth is spinning on its axis, that creates the day and night, therefore different areas will have the sun rise at different times so we have arbitrarily decided to peg sunrise to about 6-7 am to do this we need split the earth into timezones. How arbitrary are they you ask? Well Russia decided it had too many so just got rid of 2 of them.

"I have change watch too many times, get rid of some."
Some are slightly more zen. Question 6. Why is water wet? There is no real answer to that. Go try and answer it. - I will concede that one

Also how old are these kids? If we are talking under 7's - what are they asking how to do long division for? 

"Dad I have worked out the average size of a lego block and the size of my castle can you teach me long division so I can estimate the number of legos I have?"
One brightspark suggested all you needed to do to answer these questions was to check out which sounded like a wonderful resource where librarians teach kids how to answer questions. And too be fair for how to find out things like selling NZ land it gave good links.
For more knowledge based questions it suggested you use "Google" or as a hot tip try using "Wikipedia", because a 10 year old kid wouldn't have tried there first. You could rewrite that entire website, so it was just a landing page that had a link to Google.

"Come here kids, and I will teach you a secret, I don't know anything either. Just google it"

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