Monday, May 28, 2012

Canadian's Big Win in the Giro d'Italia!

 Canadian Ryder Hesjedal with his trophy!
The highlight of the Professional Cycling year is without doubt the Tour de France.  But the second biggest event of the year, the 2012 Giro d'Italia, has just been completed in Milano with Canadian Ryder Hesjedal winning the biggest race of his career.  

For the first time we were able to follow the 21 stage gruelling race on television and what an exciting race it was.  

Each stage has its own dynamics from the opening time trial through the flat stages to the mountain stages and finishing with another time trial.   Many of the competitors excel in different things with the sprinters duelling it out in the exciting conclusions of the flat stages.  Others are brilliant mountain climbers as they leave their fellow riders in their wake toiling up the mountain slopes.  Some are great at time trials, others are less so.  But the winner is often one who is an all rounder, one who while not the best at each discipline excels at all of them.

Hesjesdal, a 31 year old  former mountain biker, showed his merits during this race, winning by the very small margin of 16 seconds, after 91 hours and 39 minutes of cycling.

Well done Mr Hesjedal, it was an exciting race and gave the TV watchers of this household something enjoyable to watch each day.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Why do I Pay so much for Cable but there's nothing on TV?

The other day I came across a list of 9 things which will disappear in our lifetime.  Along with newspapers and the Post Office, TV was included.  The author said of Television:

Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they're playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

I don't know what young people are up to these days but I suspect it's not watching TV.  I can only speak for myself but even when I would like to relax in front of the TV I can rarely find anything I want to watch.  

The current highlight of my TV watching is the Giro d'Italia which fortunately is being covered by North American television this year.  The season finales have come and gone for the few "traditional" shows I watch.  In fact House was the final finale!  I regularly watch Bones and NCIS and The Mentalist and that's about it for mainstream network TV.   I can't abide reality TV and have never been able to watch American Idol or Dancing with the Stars for more than 10 minutes.

The OS watches assorted sports which I occasionally follow, especially soccer.  We often watch the Market Close on BNN business channel and the BBC news channel.   Lately programs about Space seem to play frequently on our TV as we search for something of interest.  Or dogs.  Even PBS and Knowledge Network can be deserts at times.   It's not that we are so highbrow for heaven's sake.  After  all, our guilty pleasure is So You think You can Dance!  Even the OS watches it!  Don't ask me why we like it and not American Idol.

Regarding my heading,  even though it is now slightly more competitive as companies other than cable get into providing TV, cable rates are creeping up and up.   Most give you a reduced rate for 6 months only and who wants to keep changing service providers?  Whatever happened to loyalty discounts?  To add insult to injury a 12% tax is added as the Government gets its slice of the pie!

Hundreds of channels at huge expense and nothing of interest to watch!  Sighs.  Thank goodness for books.

Makeovers, Exploring and did I mention? Makeovers

Firstly. Great new blog pic JMB.

Now I have found it difficult to find the time to regularly visit sl recently. I get to visit for longer times but at different and not regular times. It means I don’t get to see many of my friends *pouts*.

So I have been hanging out in dance clubs some as there are usually people about and also I visited and explored a sim of 18th century north Africa and islands. There are pirates and traders and nomads and slaves and gypsies. It is beautifully put together.

So anyway – I had to have a persona to explore and maybe role-play after all.

I had good fun eventually (after several different hair doos) finding myself a gypsy look with a nice tan and curly dark hair and henna tattoos and bright clothes. Well.. how I imagined they might have looked back then. I got myself a tarot pack and set off exploring.

Oh and because of that in rl I got a tarot pack phone ap also.

Still I got to see none of my usual friends.

Also I couldn’t visit the sim often enough to settle in to it. Tho I did meet a nice Knight who was going to cut my head off or something, till I convinced I was not a burglar.

How did that happen? Well I was exploring and found this place in a pretty small town by the sea. The door was unlocked no one was around, so I figured it would be ok to visit. I looked round and they had a piano.

I sat down to play it. Next thing I know  this guy has his huge sword against my throat. He was in real danger of getting blood all over his lovely piano.

So  he is; “How did you get in!” And I am “ I just walked in. it was unlocked !! Honest!” Pleease… Nice piano btw”

So he let me show him how I got in and he got it fixed and was ok about it. Moggsy, security consultant to well endowed swordsmen, by that I mean he had a big sword.

I was still restless and decided to do some more makeover so I did some more way more than I planned and now I am practically broke. That pic. It looks nothing like me now. Evereyone says I look "Lovely", "Hot",.. and "Short".  Still good things come in small packages they say.

Also I need to do some saving and watch my shopaholic tendencies.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Schrödinger. Top scientist. Nasty or nice?

Who here has heard of Schrödinger's cat? Lots I expect, you might not know much more, but lots of people have heard of it.

It never was a real cat tho, thank goodness, poor thing. It is a scientific "thought experiment" by this brillient guy called Schrödinger. Erwin Schrödinger to be exact.

It is all to do with quantum mechanics who don’t actually have ^_^ quantum wrenches as best as I know and it is all quite thought provoking now... and this was going on way back in 1935!

So, to show his point, this very clever guy Schrödinger said to imagine this cat. Locked in a box with some radioactive atoms and a Geiger counter. The Geiger counter is set to break a poison vial and kill the poor cat if it picks up radiation.

So Schrödinger  said that his idea was if no one looked to check then after a while the cat would be both alive and dead at the same time.. a “Superposition”  until someone looked. It is called the Copenhagen interpretation. If I have gotten this wrong I am sure someone can tell me.

All that is interesting, almost mystical… but not my point at all.

No. My point is what Schrödinger,  this really clever guy, was imagining is a horrible, cruel, thing to imagine and no one seems to call him on it – ever. Why would he think that?

He didn’t have to imagine killing some poor cat did he? It could just have easily been a pin and a balloon or a clamp releasing a coin, could't it? Why the cat?

This is just one, maybe more dramatic, example of something I seem to notice every now and again all over. People’s unconscious assumptions being revealed or maybe moving them in one direction than another.
A person will get to some though  and you think, “Huh?”, “Why would a person go there, or think that at all?”

I do really wonder if something like this shows something about how a person thinks?

I do wonder if it maybe shows how someone actually values the life of something like a cat, or maybe their attitude to cruelty and suffering.  Austria in 1935 must have had some pretty hard attitudes about. Did I mention he was Austrian.

What sort of a person would think to do that if there was an alternative? The balloon idea took me a moment or two. I just thought tho. I guess it would need to be a soundproof box or the “pop” would give it away?