Sunday, August 31, 2008

Election (?) Ads

Today while watching CTV's line up of Sunday Night crime shows, I saw two ads which told me how much I should vote for Stephen Harper. "Hold on," thought I. "There's an election?"

Turns out there might be. I guess Harper's people want to get a head start if they've already started running the election ads. Harper is tough on crime, good for veterans and mustachioed middle-aged men with hair like Harper's, bleached-blonde mothers with their blonde kids in parks, and young, neat Asian women who no doubt represent the 'safe' portion of the immigrants in Canada. The whole ad is topped off by a (creepily) smiling Harper.

I can only imagine two things. One, Harper's people don't know that the ads aren't terribly inspiring. Two, they're not looking for votes outside of the constituencies defined above, and are only trying to remind people within the middle-aged-men-with-mustaches-and-oddly-bad-hair constituency that Harper's their man, and he's no Stephane Dion (I'd like to point out that "squeak" is spelled wrong there).

Either way. I guess we're (Canadians) having an election, too. We should totally have it the same day as the Americans. That would be awesome.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Number of Medals to Population

Because it makes the most sense to do this. Conclusion: Smaller countries produce higher ratios of medals to population.

Population numbers taken from Google's response. Medal count as of about 11:15pm EST (11:1 am Beijing) today (Tuesday EST, Wednesday Beijing).

New Zealand: 1 medal to 514,471 people

Jamaica: 1 medal to 556,026 people

Australia: 1 medal to 583,833 people

Denmark: 1 medal to 911,353 people

Britain: 1 medal to 1,841,704 people

S. Korea: 1 medal to 2,043,532

Canada: 1 medal to 2,568,472 people

Germany: 1 medal to 2,942,893 people

Russia: 1 medal to 3,366,136 people

USA: 1 medal to 3,811,898 people*

Japan: 1 medal to 5,792,431 people

China: 1 medal to 17,392,788 people

India: 1 medal to 1,129,866,154 people

Congratulations to New Zealand, Australia and Jamaica.

Obviously, there needs to be some kind of shift for lower population values, and also one for the age range of available athletes. Some countries will have more children or more adults too old to compete in most sports. I'd love to see this done properly.

*Eight of these medals are one man's, so the US is producing fewer Olympians than this number implies. This is true for any repeat medal-winners, such as Usain Bolt of Jamaica. This is another thing to consider.