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"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Underthinking Sunscreen

So, I am currently thinking 3 a week. Monday-Wednesday-Friday, but we will see how we go.

So today I was reading about a young lad who suffered 2nd degree burns on his shoulders. The first thing that struck my attention was this kid was named Angus Pattie, so I presumed it was a story about a man who burnt his meat patty on the Barbecue and to make the story out of it he gave the patty a name. Because that is my understanding of how journalism works, personalize the story.

Oh No. Not Angus! He was my favourite.

Then I thought well hang on a minute Angus is a type of cow, so the media were just alerting people to the danger of burning prime beef patties, because the price of meat and milk and stuff going through the roof.

"It's just sickening that a solo mother of 8 can't afford to eat Prime beef every meal of the day in this country, and to top it off it burns more easily."
But no that wasn't the case, in best case of giving a child an apt name since Alden Cockburn the world famous Urologist.....

.... a kid who had used the Cancer society approved sunscreen had received 2nd degree burns (or got cooked, get it Angus Pattie got cooked) after allegedly spending 1 hour in the sun.

"What are you doing in there, Angus?"
I actually believe he was in the sun, and sorry if offended Angus. But what is the cancer society putting their name all over the worst sunscreen that we have? (again allegedly, I have heard from other people aside this story though, that this is the case).
Is the cancer society president an vampire (a real one, not one of those twilight fags), and figures if he can't go in the sun no one else should too, therefore if they think they are using the best sunscreen and still getting burnt, then they should just stay inside??
Head of Cancer society.

Surely if you are the Cancer Society, you should be only lending your name to products you know will protect people using them. So people can say the Cancer society approves it, it must be good.
Did they test it? When did they test it?

"Yeah, your not burnt at all, this stuff totally works"
I mean that was always my presumption. Cancer society says this stuff is good, and they also say the best protection is to stay out of the sun, so this stuff must be incredible, like wearing shade.

Bill (middle) had forgot to put the shade on his face.

I am not sure why the Cancer society would put their name on an inferior product, (I am basing that on the story, where the pharmacist refuses to stock it because it is overrepresented in complaints). Is it to do with price, because surely its better to have people pay more and know they are covered, rather then save money but only think they are covered and take more risks, not wearing t-shirts or seeking shade?

If you want my recommendation, use the sunscreen that people use to write on themselves with, if it can leave skin underneath pasty white, while the rest burns to a crisp, it must be good!

"I wished they had used Cancer society sunscreen then I wouldn't have this burnt into my back"

Monday, January 16, 2012

Underthinking Food Labels

What the s**t Azzy! Is what you are all saying right now. You haven't posted in over 2 months and now you want us to just return and read your blog?
The simple answer is Yes, I know it will take a while to restore the good faith of my readers but I will attempt to start blogging regularly again in the hope to help you pass the dreary work day. Hopefully my two month absence coincided with you sunning yourself in the South Island, and relearning how to swim in the North Island.
"Yeah, just off to the Boxing day sale in Taranaki and you?"

What have I been doing, well numerous things

Trying to eradicate Hippies. (apparently I have put on weight and look slightly cartoony)
I went to Taiwan to attend a Chinese Wedding
.and ended up working on a tea plantation
And Misc other things. So why now, why return to my platform of rage against the underthinkers. Well I was watching the news the other day and I saw an item regarding a plan to place labels on soft drink to indicate to people how much exercise they would have to do to work off the calories in the drink.

Stupid special on 2.25 litre coke, now I have to do this All women's aerobics class.
This is all well and good but like most academics in their ivory towers they have managed to completely oversimplify the situation. (Incidentally I am referring to some one in an ivory tower, as an unworldly dreamer, as opposed to the poor princess that gets named Moonchild by that idiot Sebastian.)
All they did was take the calories in the drink and then calculated what sort of exercise would be required to burn them off.

So What...
Good question world famous musician Pink, I am glad you raised it. It is my understanding that doing anything burns calories.

According to most Scientician's a smile burns 2 calories.
Sure this isn't enough to burn the 141 calories in a can of coke, but it is a start, using this calculator. I discovered just sitting for 30 mins burns 43 calories, so if I just sit for 1.5 hours I have burnt off the can of coke.
The only relevance the 1 hour running for a can of coke, the academics has come up with, is if you are a corpse, who for some reason or another feed a can of coke, and were then re-animated and needed to burn it off.
Must burn off Coke.

If you are like 99.9% of my readership and you are alive, you are burning calories just by your mere existence.
The only other way this equation works is if they start with the assumption people are eating exactly the right amount of calories to cover basic bodily functions every day and that can of coke was on top, in which case you would have to add on the hour run. But how many people are living their lives on such precipice?

Careful, just 3 ml of tea, otherwise I am over for the day.
Now I am not saying that drinking Fizzy isn't bad for you, I am just saying that food label is kind of pointless, and oversimplifies the situation quite dramatically.
I mean why not put these labels on all foods not just unhealthy ones? There is a 105 calories in a Banana.

Hmmm if I eat all these Bananas, I will have to run for 4 hours, better stick to the Coke.
The difference is of course, in unhealthy foods the calories are unbalanced compared to the amount the food actually fills you up, meaning you will eat more and take in more calories than you require.

Upshot is if you want to lose weight remember to keep the following equation in the negatives.

Calories in - Calories out

I think I forgot to carry the 1.

    Want to keep Underthinking? Try one these.