Sunday, 28 February 2010

Thrice - In Exile

I'm still waiting for this song to load, so I have no idea what the video is like. But if it's anything like the music, it probably says it much better than I ever could:

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Politics and Playgrounds

This is where I sit on the political compass, according to I don't think I'm really surprised. I would have thought perhaps a little more right leaning, but even then, I'm much less conservative than I would have been, say, 5 years ago. Amusingly, for those that follow the rather excellent Timothy Goodall, you will notice that our results match. I dearly hope I'm not merely a product of my culture... but I suppose I may as well just resign myself to it.


I don't want to say too much about Argentina and The Falklands, simply because, well, I'm well behind, and it mostly has already been said. However, I would like to point out one thing: having Hugo Chavez, the renowned big ball of crazy, on your side is never a good thing. Sorry, Argentina.

"Look, England, how long are you going to be in Las Malvinas? Queen of England, I'm talking to you," said Mr 'My Diplomacy Is Based Upon Playground Taunts' Chavez. "The time for empires are over, haven't you noticed? Return the Malvinas to the Argentine people."Still addressing the 85 year-old and fairly-impotent-when-it-comes-to-law-making, Queen, he went on: "The English are still threatening Argentina. Things have changed. We are no longer in 1982. If conflict breaks out, be sure Argentina will not be alone like it was back then." He described British control of the islands in the South Atlantic as "anti-historic and irrational" and asked "why the English speak of democracy but still have a Queen".

Just... where to start?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

On Stupid Headlines

The BBC have today been running a report on an NHS Trust in Staffordshire.

The headline that the BBC have gone with is "Hospital left patients 'sobbing.'" Not, as elsewhere reported in the story, "400 'needless' deaths," "Patients routinely neglected," or even "Hospital in Staffordshire is a bit rubbish, really." A bizarre and ridiculous focus on the human element, complete with pictures of people looking unhappy. I fully acknowledge there is a human cost to this - the NHS, for all its brilliance, considerably loses its sheen when it chases after money-saving measures and target-driven ideals, as opposed to, er, life-saving measures and people-driven ideals. But seriously - prioritising the living who were driven to tears of frustration instead of, well, 400 dead people is a strange choice to make.

I know, if I had a choice, which I'd rather be. And thus, I'd rather see a headline not about me.


On my way to the church this morning, I saw some grown men playing on the play equipment at my local park. They had drills to make it look like they were working, but I know the truth.

Monday, 8 February 2010

I may gone some time...

Well, 5 days. 4 and half. I'm away, anyway. Until Friday. And basically out of reach until then. I've not abandoned you all, and I'm not being lazy, I'm just away. That's all.

Friday, 5 February 2010

The iPad

The iPad is what I imagine would happen if the Sylvanian Families (how's that for retro?!) got hold of the iPhone and did that whole 'big, bigger, biggest' thing they do. Except without working like a 'phone, having the ability to multi-task, or needing to get through a tiny door in a tree.

In essence, it's a ridiculous piece of technology that no-one needs, but this is what Apple are good at. They are the masters of convincing you that you need the next piece of technology. Only, the iPad's flaws are much more obvious than other technology previously, so they've got a hard sell. However, there will always be suckers to buy stuff like this.

And I would be quite comfortable in reckoning that in 5 years, the iPad will be a common sight, just as the iPhone is now, but perhaps not to the same extent. And the name iPad won't sound quite so ridiculous and stupid and like a kid's toy.

Oh, and this all said, I imagine I'll want one soon. I can feel the pull.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Should the NFL change the overtime rule so its not based on a coin flip?

Yes. Probably. At the very core of sport in general is the desire to give both teams a level playing field (see: 'Picking Teams In The Playground'). This is seen even more in America where sports are within a closed league, with the teams who do worst in the previous season getting the best of the perks when it comes to transfers and picks before the next season (see: 'Terribly Confusing Draft System - So Much Easier When Unrealistic Amounts Of Money Are Exchanged For Prima Donnas).

So, it's a bit weird that when it comes to overtime, the NFL (and possibly other sports. You got the 'unresearched' option for this post.) likes to flip a coin to see who gets the kick-off. Now, for the uninitiated, whoever wins the coin flip is more or less likely to win the game, because they are given the chance to attack, which, unless something goes horribly wrong, the defending team cannot do until the attacking team fails to... ah, nevermind. Basically, you flip, you lose the cointoss, your chances of losing increase significantly. It's damned unfair.

However, the majority of games are not won on the first possession in overtime. There is just a bizarre link between winning the cointoss and teams winning the game. Perhaps if you feel you have the good fortune to win a 50-50 bet, you're probably the fastest and strongest and best at kicking.

And yet, leaked data does suggest that the NFL are looking to change this rule. The options that the NFL are exploring are as follows:

Footrace: You take the heaviest player on the team, often a fat defensive lineman, and put him in a race with the heaviest player of the opposing team. They have to run the full 99 yards, and the winner then gets a rest as his offence can take to the field for overtime.

Cheerleader Toss: In a variation on the current rule, a shiny curvy thing is taken, and instead of seeing which side it lands on, she is thrown by the lightest player on the team to see how far she goes. The NFL realise that this could be dangerous, but points will be awarded for the landing, just to add extra incentive to try and keep her alive.

Celebrity fan: Who can wheel out the most famous celebrity fan from the crowd? They celebrities will then be judged by a panel of nerds, especially handpicked for their aversion to daylight and lack of knowledge of real life or 'RL' as it's known. It is understood that the Washington Redskins have made a pre-emptive bid for Leonard Nimoy, should this option be chosen.

And thus concludes my thoughts about the NFL cointoss. I sincerely apologise if it didn't get the serious treatment you thought it deserved, but then, we're talking about a sport that had Prince play a set at half time.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

This is so phenomenomally good, I thought I would post it. Thanks Scott, and thanks, Jon.