Runaway Future

25.2.2007

you get paid to look good, keep the mouth shut

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 23:43

So most of this is old news, but I thought it was hilarious:

Gisele Bundchen is hot. Like seriously, she’s beautiful. That said, she made some pretty interesting comments on anorexia and the modelling industry earlier this year:

“I never suffered from this problem (anorexia) because I had a very strong family base. Parents are responsible, not the fashion industry,” she said in the Friday edition of O Globo newspaper. “Everybody knows that the norm in fashion is thin. But excuse me, there are people born with the right genes for this profession.” Gisele said that as a child her peers teased her for being skinny with names like Olive Oil, the character from the Popeye cartoon. “In fashion I felt accepted … I never felt lonely because I always relied on my family.” [Link]

Right, so anorexia is the fault of poor parenting. Apparently, looks are the only good genes Gisele got, because the brains just aren’t there. Right now, you might be thinking, why do you find this hilarious, Kevin? Are you some sort of sicko making fun of people with a disorder like anorexia?
Of course not, dear reader, because here is the punchline:

Gisele had to gain 14 pounds before she could walk on the runway for the Dolce & Gabbana show in Italy. [Link] See Italy brought in new laws, to help promote healthy images and also to make sure models do not sacrifice their lives for their jobs. So based on those rules, Gisele’s weight isn’t healthy. Ha!

22.2.2007

Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 17:38

First off, check this article out.

For those who are to lazy to, scientists in Senegal have witnessed chimpanzees making spears and using them to hunt other primates.

Let’s ignore the evolutionary impact of this, which is obviously huge (here we have an animal independently learning and growing in their environment at such a level it is becoming habitual). So throwing that all aside: the monkeys have spears.

For the longest time, humans have been the only ones on this pale blue dot who have had the spears. Granted, we’ve developed spears that could launch in the air, explode and cause catastrophic pain and destruction. But that’s all beside the point.

We’re no longer the only ones with the spears and that’s just what they’re showing us. Who knows what the monkeys are developing behind closed doors in their executive simian studio apartments.

I always had a bad feeling about teaching them language, but now they’re making weapons. I smell a revolution coming, do you know what side you’re on?

On a side note, I think Israel and the Phillipines are in on it.

My NHL scheduling solution

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 16:23

This is pretty non sequitur from anything else I posted, but I just came up with a pretty decent solution to the NHL scheduling problem.

First off, every team in the NHL plays a home game and an away game against every other team in the NHL. That way every fan in every arena gets to see every other team. So that’s 58 games off the bat (29 other teams to play, twice).

Then every team in the NHL plays an additional game against the other teams in their conferences. This could be home or away games. That’s another 14 games, bringing us up to 72 games.

Then every team in the NHL plays an additional game against the other teams in their division. This should be in the opposite location of the game that is covered in the conference definition. That’s an additional four games, bringing us up to 76 games.

This enables four games amongst divisional rivals (hopefully opening up the possibility of a home and home), three games against the rest of the conference and two games against the other conference.

So six games get cut from the season. Big deal. If 82 is such a magic number, add on another trip through your division, so it’s five games in the division and so on. I’d actually prefer a shorter season, even if it is just six games. That’s a little over a week and a half in the schedule, which will allow the playoffs to come and go just that much sooner.
With big draw teams, specifically Crosby and the Penguins, having that home and away between every team in the league is key for buy-in. Divisional rivalries stick in place, and inter-conference play also gets the nod.

21.2.2007

all you need is love

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 1:03

I went to a funeral today. That in itself probably doesn’t sound like great news. But I left with one particular thing stuck in my mind. The gentleman we were there to remember and his wife had been married an incredible 58 years before he passed away. A lot of the service was dedicating to talking about that love story and ongoing affection between the two. That’s what love is. Their Valentine’s Day would have been spent in the hospital and according to the reverend, Ted would have known he was on the way out by that time.

But how does love form?

Science might be starting to find an answer. According to this study, intimacy forms when you disclose yourself, take down the barriers and speak about yourself and who you are. Here’s an easier to understand link from Slate.com, where I first read about the study.

Basically they had test couples (randomly paired up) split into two groups: one group that shared small talk, nothing too revealing or important and the other group who answered probing personal questions about themselves. Using whatever metrics they were using, the second group felt closer at the end of the experiment then the former. One pairing even ended up in a wedding!

On the other side of the coin, my horoscope in the Herald today started with the words: “Small talk counts.”

This is a few days late, but this should stand to be my Valentine’s Day entry. Nothing about commercialism or loneliness. Just a recognition of love everlasting.

20.2.2007

plagiarism is a helluva drug

Filed under: The Daily Grind — forbes @ 1:32

So I was just watching the Daily Show (actually a repeat of February 8th’s Daily Show, but I digress) and Jon Stewart was talking about some of the criticisms about some of the Super Bowl Commercials. The main two that he discussed were the Snickers’ “Mechanic” spot and the GM “Robot” spot.

In the Snickers’ Mechanic spot, two guys are working on a car and start eating both ends of a Snickers in a decidedly Lady and the Tramp movie, ending in a kiss. Appalled by the kiss, they have to ‘do something manly’ to make up for it, ripping out their chest hair. This spot obviously upset many gay and lesbian rights organizations who said it showcased homophobic behaviour.

Stewart’s commentary on the spot mentioned that apparently homophobic acts could somehow still be considered humorous in our current ‘enlightened’ culture. He also has a cheeky dig that ripping out chest hair seems to be a bit metrosexual at best.

The other spot that caused some trouble was the GM Robot spot, where one of those automobile robots has a nightmare about dropping a screw, leading to his layoff, causing him to attempt other jobs (and fail) and ultimately take his own life and jump off a bridge. This caused some outcries from suicide prevention organizations who say that showing such actions aren’t ethically decent.

Stewart’s comments were that people should be more concerned about the real autoworkers GM has laid off recently, before showing a parody second version that showed the robot shooting himself in his head/primary gripping device.

These are all well and fine (the actual video of Stewart’s commentary can be found here). They’re even funny in a cheeky, second look at the issue kind of way.

But they might not be original. In this Slate.com article on the Super Bowl Ads, author Seth Stevenson provided a second look at the Super Bowl ads. He had this to say about the two spots in question:

Two auto mechanics have a Lady and the Tramp moment, their lips meeting at the midpoint of a Snickers bar. “I think we just accidentally kissed,” says one guy. “Quick, do something manly,” says the other. Each rips out a tuft of his own chest hair and holds it aloft. Thoughts: 1) Ripping out chest hair is manly? I thought chest-hair removal was a firmly metrosexual move. 2) Once again, disgusting hair imagery appears in a food/beverage ad. Not appetizing! 3) Apparently, knee-jerk homophobia is still grounds for comedy.

….

A robot in a GM assembly plant drops a screw. As a result, he’s fired. He tries to make do with menial jobs, but he remains miserable. In the end, he jumps off a bridge. Thoughts: Haven’t a lot of actual human auto workers been laid off lately? Are they meant to laugh when, at the end of the ad, the robot wakes up to realize this was just a bad dream, and that he still has his job so he doesn’t need to commit suicide after all? Whew, thank goodness things worked out for you, robot!

The Slate.com article was published on February 5th. The Daily Show commentary was done on February 8th. Sure they aren’t exactly alike, but the same thinking appears in both. It definitely makes you wonder. There’s something that I’ve heard about called parallel thinking where when faced with the same situation, two people can independently come to similar conclusions. It’s just how the natural train of thought happens. But is seems like a HUGE coincidence that a situation like that would occur with two separate ads, coming with similar jokes that just so happen to both be in an article published three days earlier.

I’ve been following the Joe Rogan Vs. Carlos Mencia/Ned Holness situation a bit (basically Rogan got into a war of words with Mencia about the latter stealing jokes, you can see Rogan’s take on it here, with the aftermath listed here and here). This might not be as catastrophic as that for a writer like Slate’s Seth Stevenson, but it is an indication of a bit of lazy work from one of the writers, if not something more.

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