Monthly Archives: February 2010

Olympics/TTC

On the subway today, the TTC made an announcement saying that Canada had won Women’s Hockey gold. It was a great moment, and a great gesture by the TTC.

Go Canada!

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“Hard, But Not Too Hard”

In a recent game of mini-golf, I told someone to hit the ball “hard, but not too hard”. A stock answer, I know, but I started to wonder: What does that even mean? Like, how would you quantify it? What would the units be? (Ergs?) How many units would be hard, soft, and hard-but-not-too-hard? But really, what a meaningless answer.

…Whatever, I won at mini-golf.

Safe Times of Day

I was wondering what the least safe time of day is. Almost certainly at night, of course. I’d guess close to 2AM, when people are drunk, there are fewer witnesses around, and you’re more likely to be murdered, mugged, or hit by a car. Anyway, I started wondering, when is the safest time of day? When are you least likely to be attacked, victimized, or caught in an accident?

And now I wonder if the night is, in fact, less safe. Most people sleep all night. Surely the sheer volume of people means that more crimes are committed during daytime.

Well, that got me nowhere…

Super Bowl Commercials in Canada

In Canada, we don’t get to see many, if any, Super Bowl commercials. They override them with normal, boring commercials that we see all the time already. It’s a real disappointment to miss out on what’s considered, for good reason, a big part of the show.

Today: a new hypothesis. Is the overriding of the commercials required to satisfy CanCon? (Canadian content laws)
Thoughts?

 

EDIT: Apparently, it’s not.  The American companies only pay to have ads aired in the States, and the Canadian network that sim-subs the feed gets to sell their own commercial space to pay for the sim-sub, just like every other American show they air.  Thanks, friends!

Super Bowl Betting

Like millions of other people, I was watching the Super Bowl this year. And for the first ten minutes or so, I couldn’t help but thinking about money changing hands. Not on the overall outcome of the game – that’s a given for any major sporting event – but down to each play.

It starts with the coin toss. Who’s gonna win the toss? What are they going to choose? Then the kickoff. What player catches it? How far is it returned? What kind of odds do people give for a kickoff touchdown? And even the drives. Is the first play a rush or a pass? If a pass, is it completed? Do they make the first first down? Does the first drive end with a touchdown, field goal, or something else?

I could seriously picture many many people gambling on all these petty outcomes. Some people betting a dollar on them, and some hard-core types betting far too much. In the end, my head was hurting thinking about the meta-game and all that, and I stopped so that I could just enjoy watching.

Oh yah: the onside kick to start the second half? AWESOME.

Groundhog Day

Maybe the Grinch should steal Groundhog Day. Then maybe we could replace it with a holiday that doesn’t suck.

Ride the Wind

Today, I phoned my cell phone provider to tell them I was cancelling my service. I had been procrastinating doing this for a while now. I’m going to switch to the new provider in Canada, WIND Mobile.

Canadians have some of the highest cell phone rates among developed countries (see links below). Prior to the release of WIND, three companies owned 90-something percent of all mobile subscriptions in the country. Rogers, Bell, and Telus. Remember: Fido, Solo, and Koodo are owned by the same three companies (respectively). The Supreme Court had to rule on whether WIND met Canadian ownership requirements (see next group of links below). Luckily, it was agreed that it did. The competition for Canadian mobile service now has the chance to open up.

WIND isn’t going to save me much money, but the message I sent my provider by switching is, “You could do better.” I chose to switch to WIND partly because of its good rates, but more because if people leave their current mobile providers, those providers will have to do something to stay competitive. Like lowering their prices. It’s about time. If WIND makes a big enough impact, expect to see radical changes in the way the other mobile companies do business.

The WIND “Always Shout” plan, $45/month
— Unlimited anytime calling to anywhere in Canada
— Unlimited incoming and outgoing texts
— Voicemail/call display/call forwarding/call waiting/etc
— No contract

Drawbacks:
— Must be in a WIND “home zone” (in the GTA, this currently stretches to Hamilton, Brampton, Newmarket, and Oshawa)
— Currently only works with a few phones

We-pay-too-much links:
Link: The Globe and Mail
Link: CBC news
Link: Financial Post (National Post)

Court links:
Link: The Globe and Mail
Link: Canada.com

And of course:
Link: WIND Mobile