You may have noticed that I haven’t posted for a while. I have a backlog of ideas for posts that are suitable for my other blog, but nothing that fits this one.
Following the example set by our esteemed leader, I mused on Twitter the other day, “I have no ideas for proper science blog posts on Nature Network right now. Shall I just say I’ve prorogued my blog?”
A friend put an end to that with his reply: “I think you can only do that if you’re avoiding specific science and are pretty sure it’ll go away by the time you resume.”
I was hoping to use last night’s Vancouver vs. Edmonton “Skeptics in the Pub” pub quiz for inspiration, but I am sad to report that Kyrsten and I were not exactly assets to our team. In fact, we came joint second-last in Vancouver, and (we think) behind everyone in Edmonton.
But! The Official Spectator Guide that arrived with my Olympic tickets on Monday came to my rescue!
Flicking through its pages, I read with approval that every event ticket includes free access to all public transport on the day of, and up to 4 am on the day after, the event. We were already planning to take the bus and SkyTrain to all our events (except the one that’s within walking distance), so that was a bonus.
But then it all started to get a bit odd.
First of all, speed skating spectators heading to the Richmond Oval are advised to “Dress appropriately. As you’ll be walking along the Fraser River on your way to the venue, waterproof clothing and comfortable footwear are recommended”. I don’t know what this says about the quality of riverside path and railing construction, but it’s worth noting that my husband left at 6 o’clock this morning to spend a week building wheelchair access ramps for some of the Whistler venues. The entire crew are movie set carpenters. I’ve reminded him that the ramps are not supposed to collapse, explode, or otherwise provide any spectacular and/or hilarious visual effects. I’ve at least established that they’re using real wood, rather than plywood, or Styrofoam painted to look like wood.
I then decided to see where all our seats are going to be. Snowboard cross: general admission (standing), right at the base of the run. Men’s hockey (Canada vs. Norway): lower bowl, 21 rows back, in a corner. Women’s hockey (Canada vs. Sweden): upper bowl, behind a goal, but in a smaller stadium. Curling: nice and central.
I know next to nothing about curling, but a) it’s pretty damn cool to walk to the Olympic Games from your house, and b) it’s one of Great Britain’s only real chances at a medal. We’ll see both Canada and GB play in a preliminary round, but not against each other, so I can cheer for both teams!
But at least now I know more about curling than I did before. The Spectator Guide says: “Did you know curling stones weigh 19.1 kilograms? That’s almost the same weight as four Vancouver Island marmots”.
So, I hereby propose two new SI units.
One curling stone (1 CST) = Four Vancouver Island Marmots (4 VIM)
1 Vancouver Island Marmot = 250 mCST
The great thing is that the curling stone is also a unit of time and volume. Apparently, there are ten ends per curling match. Each end comprises 16 stones. A game can take a total of three hours. Therefore one stone (1 CST: do keep up) = 1.125 minutes. Your average Canadian curling spectator (and many a participant, too, although probably not in the Olympics) gets through one pint every eighteen minutes. Therefore there are 16 CST per pint.
It follows that there are 64 Vancouver Island Marmots per pint of beer.
That doesn’t seem like much beer each, even for a marmot.
“I can haz more beer, please? Surely u don’t expect me 2 watch curling while sober?”
- bad people
- blog buddies
- blog roll
- book review
- current affairs
- embarrassing fan girl
- English language
- food glorious food
- furry friends
- grant wrangling
- hockey pool
- original research
- Primate Party