Thursday, 31 January 2008

Why water can get lost

The weather is an all important controller of our lives. Generally if we're indoors all week, then it will really only affect how many jackets/scarves/gloves we put on.
For others it is more important, affecting what they do that day; if they can go to sea, if they can ride their bike, if they can fly a kite, if they can test their new umbrella design... you get the idea. For these people, especially the umbrella architects, rain is one of the most important features of the weather. And yet the reporting of it is awful. Really amateur compared to the other weather fields.
It seems that the wetness department of the Met Office is really the "underachievers' class" of all the departments. The temperature are the boffins. They delivery accurate temperatures on an hour by hour basis to the nearest degree centigrade. They have a backup system for the elderly and the American (Fahrenheit). They even have a great get-out clause:
"It's cold out" grumble the bemused prol. "Ah", replies the heat-analyst, "that'll be the windchill factor". What a wonderful excuse for inaccuracies. Blame another department.
The rain-tellers don't have any such excuse. Moreover, they have no accurate way of telling us what's happening, or what will happen. When the thermo-men tell us it will be 19 degrees we all go, "ooh, I'll get to wear my new light weight jacket and take a bottle of water with me to the roller-derby".
The nearest that the waterfallers can say is "today will be 4 inches."


Utter-unashamed-useless. I have no use for that fact. It's like the cloud students saying "Today there will be 98.9% solar photon penetration." Yep, thanks.

But there is no other system. Clouds are a bit vague, but that's ok. We don't mind hearing it will be "mostly overcast with sunny spells". We can still plan our day. Nothing is accurately based on cloud plans. So water fallings are given an absolutely useless measuring system based on length. Because length and water go together like chocolate and Jupiter.

I am not even knowledgeable on where this measuring system came about or how it works. I like to think that it came around from a lord Inch, who said "I am bored of getting wet due to a misunderstanding of what 'quite wet out' actually means!". So he created a scale where 1 was enough to make your hair frizz, and 10 is underwater. From here it would be easy to scale the points in between. Here is my attempt.

1 - like noticing you have a fizzy drink on the table when a little bit flies out and lands on you
2 - like being sat on by a wet cat
3 - like standing under a sweaty person
4 - like jumping on a trampoline after its been raining
5 - like being squirted by one of those water sprays that hairdressers use
6 - like opening the door on a dish washer before its finished
7 - like standing on the curb by a busy wet road
8 - like taking a shower
9 - like taking a power shower
10 - like taking a bath

Its easy and everyone can relate (especially 3).

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

New TV programs

Orginially done by Richard Herring and Stuart Lee. It seems that some TV premises are so thin, that they appear to have been written around the title, and not the other way around. So with that in mind, here are some I came up with:

Doc of the bay

Dr Phillip Baye, a retired pathologist, moves to a sleepy harbour town where he solves murders in his spare time. When he is not solving mysteries, he dabbles in herbal remedies, many of them include bay leaves.

Inn for a Penny

Penny Smith, moves out of a busy London pub management job to risk everything by starting a new Inn in a village. The Inn is opposite the old traditional Inn, run by Ex army Col. Richard Pound, with hilarious consequences.

Many Hans

A reality, home makeover show. Hans Larrs and Hans Schulle are two electricians who go around solving peoples' lighting issues. This week, why is Mr. Smith's strip light humming, and how can Miss Clyne make the most of her ornamental garden through outdoor lamps?

Against the clock

Challenge show where competitors must climb up on to large clock faces and then compete in time based challenges. This week, the minute team fight against the hour hand team, by seeing who can pull as many numbers off of the clock face of Gare de Lyon in Paris in 5 minutes. Full contact, knock down action.

At each other's throats

Ground breaking surgery program where two surgeons attempt to perform simultaneous larynx surgery on one another. Hilarious outtakes section at the end where one tries to ask the other to say "ahhh".

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Paint belongs in bouncy castles

First may I just say - W00t!!! 50 posts. Take that productivity!!!

Secondly, bouncy castles, though the suffix suggests a hard fortress of keeping people out, actually has the opposite effect. And I don't just mean that it has an inviting appearance that draws in everyone, presuming that they first have taken shoes off. Instead I mean the way they work during the bouncing.

Just taking the base in to the equation, the bounciest area is in the middle, which will average out to be lower than the areas around the edges. Not only does this mean that those in the middle more likely to stay there as they are in the lowest part, and it is very hard to bounce uphill. Secondly those on the outside of the divot will be bouncing on a slope, and will inevitably bounce inwards.

Now if we take in to account that the "castle" walls are also bouncy, then even those bouncees who are lucky enough to have bounced away from the centre will inevitably reach a wall, at which point their horizontal energy will be reversed in vector and they will be on a bee line for the centre point once more.

Now if this was a set of bouncing balls, turtles dropped from a high height or hand grenades mixed with tins of paint, the whole thing would be funny if at least watched from a safe distance. Instead, the objects ignorantly and chaotically bounding around on an imminent collision course is a set of humans.

And not just any humans, children. Bony, fragile, cry-at-the-slightest-things children. In a big bouncy death trap. It would be less dangerous, and less noisy to have just one child, one grenade, and one tin of paint bouncing around.

What a TV program it would make. Just one child, a loosely pinned hand grenade, a bucket of luminous green paint and 500 well protected, bullet time cameras.

The jumping luminescent death child boom paint fest - ITV at 10pm tonight.

Tell me that you wouldn't watch it.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Steps in a office based, middle classed direction?

I just realised that today I have bought a coffee machine and a tie.

How horrifically bureaucratic, white collared is that?!

Sad I know to now be blogging about it, but I feel that I need to vent these rather claustrophobic feelings. Plus I have about 3 minutes left of work, and I can't be bothered doing anything else.

The only redeeming feature is that the tie is identical to the tie worn in the Hitman film. But this +1 of geekiness is undermined by the fact that the coffee machine has a timer on it, and a further -2 for the fact that I was excited to find this out after I bought it.

I'm going to go home, and drink good coffee wearing leather gloves. That should help make me feel a little better at least