Thursday, 12 December 2013

Thursday Thoughts: More Stupid Ads!

I love to grouse about advertising, as it seems to be a topic of interest to me, for some strange reason.

I'm pretty good about ignoring any ads on websites I visit. As I've been using the internet tubes since the text-only days, I got used to filtering out any nonsense content and just reading what I want to read.

That said, there are some ads that cross the threshold and need to be called out.


Evony, a crappy online 'freemium' strategy game, is notorious for its overtly sexual ads. How can you get people to play a generic game? MORE BOOBS!!

As you can see, the first ad was pretty generic. You have a guy in armor in an ad for a fantasy game. Standard stuff. On the second and third ones, you start getting into pretty woman.

After that? They stopped having a shred of shame. Just show some ample cleavage, and watch the idiots slither over to a game in which you don't see a single breast.

"You will never see these bombs, my lord"!

Yes, the ad makes it seem like you are playing some naughty adult game where discretion is required. Better close the curtains and turn off your phone!

Evony is the biggest culprit, but not the only one. My Facebook sidebar will often have one or two of these overly sexualized ads. I do like ample bosoms, but it has to be in the right context. If you are simply showing off breasts for a standard game, you don't even deserve the time of day. 

Seriously, I'm surprised I haven't seen full-on hardcore porn with the caption "Make your fantasies come to life!". C'mon, Evony, you might as well go all the way!

Note the grammar error on the last sentence.


Despite the fact that this isn't 1997, some advertisers still think that blinking pictures are 'in' and work as effective advertising.

 For your safety, I did not link to one of the seizure-inducing pictures, but this particular ad pops up almost every time I play Lexulous on Facebook.

Yes, the ads are designed to catch your attention, but they are so damn annoying that I NEVER want to support any company who feels the need to put flashing lights in my face.

I guess these ads must work on some gullible people, since they are designed to look like an actual computer scan, and newer users might be fooled. Still, whomever designed this particular advertisement should be spanked with a disco ball.


Probably the most insidious ads that have popped up in recent months are the auto-sound ads. was the first place I encountered them (or their auto-play videos)

When you visit certain pages, a video ad will automatically load up, and you'll start hearing some obnoxious propaganda.

Unlike a typical picture advertisement, this one is very hard to ignore unless you have the sound off. No matter what, the stupid videos just start playing, and they are often very loud.

It's a bit of a hunt, really, to figure out where the hell this mystery sound is coming from. If you have multiple tabs open, then you need to find out WHICH tab it's coming from, and where on the page the ad is.

Then, you need to figure out how to shut down the ad, pause the ad, or mute the sound. It's especially annoying when it's an article you actually want to read.

Look, advertisers, would you like me to show up at your house and start blaring loud music from outside your window? How about I blast an airhorn while you are trying to sleep?

Facebook (yes, that again) seems to be desperate for ad dollars, and will bring these annoying things to its site in 2014. Facebook has been losing some steam over the past 1-2 years, and this could very well help sink the Titanic. If I start hearing these things every time I visit the site, you can bet I'll be logging on a LOT less.

I get that advertisers need to get your attention, but annoying people is not going to get them to warm up to your product. I have never bought something because some idiot jumped right in my face and started yelling at me.

No, quite the opposite, in fact. If I encounter really annoying advertising, I make a mental note to not support that particular product or company.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tuesday Thoughts: Lego, Sriracha, CNN

Most of us remember the fun of building random things out of LEGO, if not the pain of stepping on one of those indestructible blocks.

One of my old friends used to (and maybe still does) build whole miniature amusement parks out of Lego, including fully working rides, landscapes, and buildings. You were only limited to your imagination and pile of blocks.

While seeing Lego in the toy store or on commercials, what disheartens me is that the 'imagination' part seems to have totally disappeared.

Notice a trend here?

Instead of buying a big bucket of bricks and going wild with them, it seems Lego is all about movie and TV show tie ins and 'build this specific thing' box sets.

In today's age where every young kid seems to have a cell phone, handheld video gaming system, and hours of TV to zonk out to, I can imagine Lego would have a hard time getting the foothold it used to.

So, I can see why Lego would need to attach itself to popular franchises. It just saddens me that Lego seems more about putting together specific things, rather than using your imagination and creativity.

When, exactly, did Sriracha Hot Sauce become a 'thing'?

If you haven't heard, by now, Sriracha is a popular hot sauce that is easy to spot with its bright green cap and big COCK on the bottle. (At least this specific maker of it)

I've known Sriracha for many years as the usual half-full bottle of hot sauce that you find at just about every Vietnamese Pho restaurant. It's not a new product, and I've never seen it advertised even once. It's something that is usually just kind of 'there'.

Yet, all of a sudden, Sriracha is all over the damn place!

Subway 'restaurants' now offer a Sriracha sub, The Oatmeal (a web comic that is quickly losing steam) writes about it ALL THE DAMN TIME, and there has been a big public kerfuffle over the new sauce factory.

Sriracha Vodka? Why the hell not?

How did Sriracha vault into sudden popularity? Should we blame the Instagram hipsters for this?

I've often ranted and lamented about how CNN has become irrelevant in the world of news. What used to be a must-watch network quickly deteriorated into total and utter nonsense. The more CNN continues not to focus on ACTUAL NEWS, the less viewers it gets. Hmm...

These two screen captures give you a good idea why CNN has lost its place.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Canadian Hockey Television Hit by a Nuclear Bomb

Although this news has flown under the radar more than I expected, the news that Rogers Communications has been given a monopoly over NHL programming in Canada is going to have a huge impact on the game in our country. Rogers is paying $5.2 BILLION for this 12-year contract. Big bucks!

If you want to know the nitty gritty details about how this will affect the various stakeholders, William Wolfe-Wylie has put together a pretty good run down over at

For the Cliff Notes version, here is what is going to happen.

  • TSN will have *NO* rights to any NHL games. Remember, TSN is the prime sports network in Canada, and has always been #1. This will change. 

  • The CBC, the original broadcaster, will have no rights to NHL games. A special agreement between CBC and Rogers will allow Hockey Night in Canada to run for four more years, but after that? *poof*?

  • The CBC will get NO advertising revenue during that time, simply being paid to cover its costs. Given that hockey ad revenue is about 50% of the CBC's total revenue, Stephen Harper must be cackling with glee.

Who wins when monopolies exist? Hint: IT IS NEVER THE CONSUMER!

The media in this country is already consolidated amongst a very few parties, and Bell (TSN) and Rogers (Sportsnet) have a disproportionate share of the media pie. This deal just consolidates things even further, leaving consumers with less quality and choice.

Even as I watch less and less hockey than I used to, this deal still pisses me off. Here is why this deal is not good for the consumer.

  1. Hockey Night in Canada is dying. Yes, it'll have four more years, but Rogers will exercise full editorial control. HNIC has always been a high-quality broadcast, and CBC gives hockey a lot more respect than Sportsnet ever has.

  2. This may also help kill the CBC, which the current Canadian government would just love to happen. People will be laid off, and other programming will suffer. Hockey ad revenue helped the CBC produce other shows.

  3. More expensive for us? TSN is purely a national broadcaster, while Sportsnet does break up some of its programming into regional networks. If you want to see more games, you may have to pay for the other Sportsnet region channels. Ugh.

  4. On-Air Talent: Sportsnet's 'talent' is piss poor compared to TSN and CBC. Nick Kypreos is a buffoon, and Doug MacLean should have stuck to coaching. TSN has, by far, the best panel, and CBC is a close second, apart from Cherry. We might expect Sportsnet to hire some of TSN's talent, however.

  5. Less variety of broadcasts. It's great to see different productions and different viewpoints. With everything controlled by one broadcaster, you lose that. The lack of competition may also lead Sportsnet to stagnate with their on-air product, as they don't need to worry about what TSN is doing.

  6. Don Cherry: Yes, Rogers will likely pay him millions to pollute your eyeballs with his ugly suits and his Bobby Orr ass-kissing. Ugh.

The NHL is making an amazing amount of money off of this deal, and Rogers does have the infrastructure to bringing content to people that doesn't involve the TV. This deal shows, at least, that the NHL is still a player in the business world.

Still, shame on the NHL for choosing just one provider for the Canadian airwaves. Less choice is never good for the consumer, and this smacks purely of Bettman's one-dimensional thinking.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Blockbusted: Blockbuster Shuts Down for Good

(c) AP

It seems that video rental chain Blockbuster is finally set to have the plug pulled and have the remains cremated.

Blockbuster LLC, the video-rental company now owned by Dish Network Corp. (DISH), will close its remaining 300 U.S. stores, ending an era for a retail chain that was once a hallmark of shopping centers across the country.

I didn't know Blockbuster still had 300 stores opened, did you?

Unlike most of the hipsters on Twitter who are laughing at the corpse, braying "I told you so! OMG NETFLIX KILLED YOU HAHA!", I prefer to have fond memories of Blockbuster Video.

Yes, Blockbuster failed to adapt to the new digital age, but it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the role it had in my life.

It is quite strange to see such a large company just completely disappaear. Blockbuster outlets were pretty much EVERYWHERE, and Blockbuster was one of North America's biggest entertainment companies. Before the internet, filing sharing, rampant PPV usage, and easy CD copying, Blockbuster (or Rogers Video) provided the go-to place to get some at-home entertainment.

Here is how I'll remember Blockbuster:

  • When I was first dating my wife, we'd often go to the nearby outlet and rent a movie or two for the night, or get the occasional video game. It gave us a chance to go for a nice walk and cozy up on the couch for a night in. We somewhat homebodies, so a Blockbuster night, especially on a cold, rainy Vancouver night, was just perfect.

  • When I was a kid, I couldn't afford to buy too many video games. I could, however, afford to rent many games for a couple of days. I'd often rent RPGs and just plough through them in the short time I had to rent. These were the days a RPG could be finished in about 20 hours, and not 100.

  • Blockbuster, especially near the end, often had sales on used games and movies. This was a good chance to get some really good deals that you couldn't get elsewhere.

  • The Tangible: I find it much more satisfying and easier to browse through a physical inventory. Sometimes, you'd come across a movie you hadn't seen or heard of before, and it may turn out to be a hidden gem. It's much harder to browse online than it is in person.

  • The Pain: Spoiled kids these days don't know what it is like to have the movie or game you want OUT. Yes, we had to experience the pain of not always getting what we wanted. It made us appreciate what we did have.

  • Try before you buy: For video games, it's often hard to get demo versions. Renting a game was a good chance to try it out before plunking down $60 on it. Of course, these were the days before free/freemium games came about. 

  • The Con: My friend and I really wanted to rent Final Fantasy, but were a bit short on cash. Blockbuster tagged certain games with different colours, with one colour being the premium games (more expensive) and others being older games. 

    In order to be able to rent the game, my friend changed the tag on the Final Fantasy to be marked as an older game. The clerk said that the game was marked as premium, but, since the game was clearly tagged as an older game, she changed it in the system and we *just* managed to afford the rental. I felt so dirty, yet so devious.
Farewell, Blockbuster, and thanks for the good times.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Monday Munchies: Chicken L'Aurian

My wife makes some very wonderful meals for me, and I figured I should share some of them with my friends and family, or other random people that might happen upon this space.

On a random reddit thread, a question was posed about "What is your favourite meal?". For me, it was a tie between my wife's lasagna and her special stuffed chicken recipe.

When I first met my wife, and she invited me over to her place for dinner for the first time, she made me a wonderful dish she called "Chicken Manicotti." It was baked chicken, which was stuffed with cheese, and covered with a cheesy sauce, served with pasta.

A way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so it's no wonder I fell in love with her so quickly. :)

This dish has everything a man could want: It's warm, meaty, savoury, cheesy, and filling! You hit all of the major food groups, and it's not too difficult to make. 

The problem? This dish isn't actually a Manicotti, which is basically tube pasta stuffed with cheese and other edible matter.

So, when my wife made the dish last night, she christened it with a new, proper name: Chicken L'Aurian.

My wife graciously documented her preparation and recipe for the world to see.

Step 1: The Ingredients!

  • 2-4 Chicken Breast Halves (depending on number of people being served. 1 half per person is more than enough for even big appetites).
  • 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce (or you can make your own)
  • 1 tbsp of garlic
  • 125 g of cottage or ricotta cheese per breast half. Other soft cheeses also work well. For this one we tried some goat cheese.
  • 1 tbsp of chopped oregano
  • 1 tbsp of chopped sun dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 125 g of grated mozzarella or cheddar cheese per breast half.
  • Misc chopped vegetables to taste, for the sauce - for this one I added 1 zucchini and a handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Diced onions, carrots, and broccoli also work well.
** This is the 'basic' version. If you want the deluxe dish, buy some bacon, or turkey-bacon, and wrap it around the chicken. 

Step 2: Preparation!

  1. Turn oven to 350 degrees and find a baking dish (must be approx 9"x16" or bigger)
  2. Sauce: Make or heat up pasta sauce over the stove. Add garlic and any of the optional vegetables. Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, use a tenderizer to pound the chicken breasts to approx 1/2 cm thick. Cover with the cottage/ricotta cheese, add some oregano and sun-dried tomatoes. 
  4. Pour half of the sauce into the baking dish.
  5. Next, roll up the chicken pieces like a jelly roll. Set into the baking dish seam-side down (gravity should hold it closed). Pour remainder of the sauce over the chicken, ensuring it is coated. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top.  (If using bacon, wrap it around the rolls)
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Boil pasta at appropriate time to serve on the side.
Step 3: Put it in the oven!

This is what the dish will look like before it is cooked.

Step 4: Take it out of the oven! savoury!

Step 5: Dish it out!

The sauce is already cooked in the dish, so you can spread it all over the pasta. It's piping hot, too.

Step 6: Get husband to deal with the aftermath!

I guess this is one way to burn off a few calories! *sad trombone*

If you are looking for a chicken dish that is a bit fancy, but not too elaborate, give Chicken L'Aurian a try. It's a great meal on a cold night.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Jowls, Howls, and Scowls

Today's random ramblings...

(Jerry Seinfeld voice): What is the deal with right-wing/conservative politicians and big jowls?

Does greed, corruption, and selfishness cause swelling of the goiter, or do big jowls cause those traits? It seems to be fairly consistent.

(I apologize, in advance, for the disturbing images)

I have been enjoying Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a lot more the past three weeks, after the warm up laps were completed.

The writing has become much stronger, they've actually used *some* less-than-perfect-specimen actors, and some of the characters are being well developed. I especially enjoyed the eye-camera episode, and the whole chain-of-control it suggests. It's a solid show that we've been looking forward to watching every Tuesday night.

I just wonder when/if we'll see the return of Graviton, the newly created villain.

If you want one reason why North Americans haven't warmed up to soccer, how about crap like this?

"Arturo Vidal had an evening to forget in Madrid last night, his biggest contribution to the game arguably one of the worst dives of all time.
Juventus' poor European campaign continued with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid, but it was their Chilean midfielder who stole the headlines with a ludicrous penalty appeal in the second half. Vidal who was attempting to square a pass across the area as he approached the byline, completely missed the ball and got his boot stuck in the pitch.
However instead of simply looking foolish as the ball trickled out of play, the 26-year-old made matters far worse by launching himself into the air and appealing for a penalty as he flopped to the turf.
Unfortunately for Vidal there wasn't a Madrid defender within two feet of him so all he succeeded in earning was the scorn of the footballing world for such a blatant and poorly executed dive."

It's bad enough that soccer refs often fall for dives, but why don't they hand out more red and yellow cards for 'simulation'? This kind of crap won't stop if there is no disincentive to do so. Penalties are so valuable in soccer than players will flop quite easily in order to draw them.

Thankfully, most of the MLS doesn't resort to this...North American soccer is a far cry from the Italian league, that's for sure.

For the Magic: the Gathering geeks who read this, here is a link that shows just the 51 new cards coming out in the Commander decks, and which deck(s) they'll be in. If you want a specific card, and plan to buy a deck, now you have more info.

It looks like the True-Name Nemesis I was drooling over is already pre-selling for about $30-40. Yikes. Good thing the deck I plan to get will have one in it.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Am I a Glymphomaniac?

I'm one of those crazy people that absolutely *loves* sleeping. Yes, napping is one of my hobbies, and I'd sleep 12 hours a day, if I could.

Sadly, I just don't get to nap as much as I should, especially on the weekends. Without my weekend naps, I found myself a bit more tired than I used to be, especially during the middle of the work day.

Where am I going with this?

Scientists have long been baffled as to WHY, exactly, we need to sleep. Yes, sleeping helps our muscles relax and recover, but that is generally just a function of the human body over time. Human bodies don't simply overheat with us, like a car engine.

Well, a landmark study seems to help pinpoint one major reason why we do need to sleep, after all.

The US team believe the "waste removal system" is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep. Their study, in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean.

They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders.

It has been shown to have a big role in the fixing of memories in the brain and learning, but a team at the University of Rochester Medical Centre believe that "housework" may be one of the primary reasons for sleep.

"The brain only has limited energy at its disposal and it appears that it must choose between two different functional states - awake and aware or asleep and cleaning up," said researcher Dr Maiken Nedergaard.
If this is true, it would explain why people can die from sleep deprivation, or why a lack of sleep can cause your body to do funny things, or simply just not function at optimal levels.

So, the next time my wife complains about my napping, I can just found her to this and state that I need to take my Glymphatic System for a long trip to the bathroom. I get grumpy when my brain is still dirty!

Friday, 18 October 2013

I COMMAND You to Read this MTG Post!

The new Commander (formerly EDH) product comes out on November 1st, which gives me another chance to blow some more of my hard-earned money on cardboard crack.

While the wife and I don't really play Commander, many of the cards are still good and useful for our format. I do have 5 EDH decks, just in case...they also make good free-for-all 60-card casual decks.

In the five pre-constructed decks being released, there are 51 new cards for us to drool over. Here are my favourites.

There is already a multiplayer variant where you can attack only to one side. This card is basically forcing that format, which makes for some cool politics. I can't see myself playing it, but I like that it exists.

Another card that lets me 'borrow' my wife's great creatures. Marriage is about sharing, right? :)

Wow, protection from a PLAYER? That is strong. This might even see Legacy constructed play, basically being a 3-power nigh-unkillable creature.

In our environment, it'll still be quite powerful, and I'd love to stick this in my little Merfolk deck.

The cycle of curses allows for some unfair ganging-up-on-one-player shenanigans. "EVERYBODY, ATTACK JES!"

Still, these two are the most powerful, by far. Getting a zombie just for attacking? Getting your creatures bigger just for attacking? Yes, I'd love my Birds of Paradise to get a +1/+1 counter. Why the hell not?

This is an old card, but I love the new art? Barfing coins? What did he eat for dinner?

Tempting Offer, indeed! Yes, I'll reanimate my guy, for sure, but do you want to do the same, while allowing me ANOTHER? The art is also bad-ass, too.

A fixed Doubling Season that doesn't allow Planeswalkers to ultimate right away is a *good* thing, Martha Stewart says.

The set also has 10 new commanders (2 for each deck), all of which are quite powerful, in their own way.

I know the guy with the Kobold deck might be tempted to splash in green to play this dragon. He brings his own Scoobie Snacks, and those snacks also get pumped up by the old kobold lord.

Blink on a stick. How can that *not* be powerful? My wife is going to abuse this like bath salts!


I've managed to pre-order the Grixis deck, and my wife has the Jund deck. Looking at the decklists, the Esper deck is, by far, the most powerful and goody-laden. The Jund deck actually looks like crap, compared to the others...

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wednesday Wonderings

I haven't blogged much as I haven't really had any inspiration. Unlike my hockey blogging days, I'm never going to force myself to write just to get some content out. It's not like I'm getting paid :)

So, in order to keep some creative writing juices flowing, I might as well muse about some random things.

I saw this picture floating on my Facebook feed. It's nothing new or spectacular...

What amuses me is that the poor 90% of Americans get the crappy Southern US states, while the rich people get the beautiful northwest states. Talk about insult to injury!

Over to Marketing... When you bought a car, or considered buying a car, did you look to see how many Industry awards the car won?

Car makers seem to think the following is true...

For all we know, Chevrolet paid this J.D. Power and Associates for the awards. Nobody really knows much about this group, or even cares. I'm sure the car makers wet themselves over the awards, but car buyers care about tangible things, like reliability, fuel economy, and handling.

 For all I know, I'm just ignorant about what they do and they actually serve a useful purpose. That said, I'd still suggest that when car makers flash these awards around, most people don't really care.

Here is Edmonton Oilers assistant coach Keith Acton telling Canucks coach John Tortorella what everybody else wants to say to him. An amusing .gif that brings me a smile. 

If Magic: The Gathering started offering shirts with this logo on it, I'd buy one in an instant!

From Johnny Fontaine, aka Mr. Misspelling, we finish off with a goofy story about Tard, aka "Grumpy Cat" getting a lifetime achievement award for the very act of being a cat.


Yup, Mr. Grumpy is just thrilled to have won a bunch of free food and a trophy to knock over.

Kudos to the owners of the cat for taking their odd-looking feeling and making tons of money off of it. Why the hell not?

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Canadians are Depressed, Overweight Internet Addicts!

Yes, this sensationalist blog post title is a riff on The Washington Post's "Americans are fat, stressed, and unhealthy" headline, but it has a hint of truth to it.

As the WaPo article points out, "We (Americans) are fat. We are stressed. We are on the verge of a coronary."

This might seem like an obvious attention-grabbing piece of journalism, but there are a couple of reasons I care.

1. Canadians face the same issues as our neighbours to the south, we lead similar lives, have similar culture, and are affected by many of the same lifestyle choices. We also both have the KFC Double Down :)

2. The real meat of the matter is the World Economic Forum's "Human Capital Index", a big study that ranks 122 countries on their "capabilities of their people put their productive use in society."

This all sounds pretty cold, but the study does highlight some very key measure of a country's well being and lifestyles, especially around education, health, and employment. If you score high in all three, the people of your country are going to be happier.


The Human Capital Index is a pretty exhaustive study, but it does have special sections for each country, as well as some easy-to-read rankings. I'm a bit of a stats nerd, so I love seeing numbers arranged in nice tables and charts!

As you might expect, Northern Europe dominates the top 10:

The only real outlier in the top 10 is Singapore, that tiny little tiger tucked over in Asia.

What most interested me was how the US and Canada stacked up to the rest of the world, and to each other. As you can see, the US scored pretty poorly in Health and Wellness, while Canada is quite well-educated.

I put together a little table of some key (and cherry-picked) metrics that I wanted to point out.

1. Canada has the highest primary enrollment rate in the world, but still a pretty big gender gap.
The US, on the other hand, is the reverse of this. More and more women are going to university, and the US is the leader in terms of that sort of equality. I'm surprised Canada is so low.

Will this lead to more women in executive positions? It's sloooooowly trending that way. 

2. Canadians have a great life expectancy, but suffer almost as high levels of depression, stress, and obesity as our cousins to the south.

While we have a good standard of living, our society constantly preaches that our lives are never good enough: We must buy more, look better, be better than everybody else. When people judge their own lives in comparison to others, how can they ever expect to be happy?

Our countries are great as the quality of health care, but many people live with many mental and physical health problems. Given how food corporations own our governments, its no surprise that obesity will continue to be a major epidemic.

3. One reason for stress: Lack of vacation time! Most of the top countries mandate many weeks of vacation, and the US mandates ZERO. Canadian companies aren't exactly generous, either, so workers are over-worked and don't get time to de-stress.

4. As expected, the US access to health care is not too great. Obamacare should help a bit, but many Americans can't access quality health care without a significant financial cost. Sure, the quality of care in the US is top-notch, but it'll cost you an arm and/or a leg.

5. Employment - The US and Canada have some of the world's best and brightest people, and also the most productive.

The problem is that automation, temporary foreign workers, and outsourcing have meant many qualified people can't find work. In the long run, this will hurt our economies as fewer and fewer people can afford to buy the products on the shelves. Companies would rather save pennies outsourcing jobs to less-qualified people, than hire locally.

6. Mobile (Cell Phone) Usage - I'm not surprised Canada ranks so low, given our ROBELUS monopoly and disgusting high cell phone rates. What surprises me is that the USA isn't all that much better. I guess a large rural population is contributing to a smaller cell phone usage?

7. Internet addicts - Not surprisingly, us North Americans are on the Internet a LOT, and have easy access to look at cute animal pictures.

8. Social Mobility - Unlike England, or many developing nations, North Americans aren't as class conscious. This is the one aspect of North America that appeals to many immigrants. Even if economic mobility is a big lie, at least you can talk to a rich person without being spat on!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nike's Hockey Jersey Design Fails

I've never been overly fond of Nike's presence in the hockey marketplace, given the fact that the company's specialties are marketing, basketball, and using slave labour to sell shoes at a 100000% markup.

That said, I've never really felt compelled to speak up until seeing the recent jersey designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple, stupid!

That's the motto most any designer should follow, especially when it comes to sports uniforms.

The best uniforms in sports? The Yankees, Canadiens, Dodgers, Red Wings... all very simple, elegant designs that use striking colours and a clean look to stand out. They stand the test of time for a reason.

Now, let's look at the awful dreck that Nike has seen fit to produce for these upcoming Olympics.


It's a very American thing to wear American-flag suits, pants, shirts, etc... Given the garish design of the American flag, it's a real eyesore to see something like this.

So, Nike decided that the Czechs should basically wear the frickin flag as their hockey sweaters.

The design on the left isn't as bad, even if it does remind me of the Montreal Canadiens.
The one on the right? Yes, they basically took a flag and sewed a crest and logo on it.

I can also imagine the numbering on the back of that second jersey will look awkward.


The one on the left looks just fine, but what the hell is with the pile of garbage on the right? Are we going for a cycling team look?

Did Nike not learn from the disasters that were the LA "Burger King" jerseys? Remember the Anaheim cartoon jerseys? Yeah, this is pretty much in that realm of barfiness.


The least offensive of the four goes to the USA, although you can tell that Dustin Brown is not too thrilled about them.

Yes, the top part of those shirts has FAKE laces. FAKE LACES!! On top of that, you have a bunch of stars.

Does Nike hire teenage girls to design these things? Why not add some sparkles and glitter?

If you simply removed the extra Ed Hardy crap on top, you'd have a uniform that is actually quite good. 


These were finally made official, and they might be the absolute worst uniforms Team Canada has ever had to wear.

1. As random commenters have pointed out, these look like the T-Shirts you'd get for free in a 24-pack of Molson Canadian.

You know those really bad replica jerseys you can buy on Ebay for five bucks? I'd take those things over what Nike has come up with.

2. Why does Team Canada need a THIRD jersey for a tournament where they are playing 8-12 games? No other country seems to need a third jersey. I realize this is about money, but shouldn't the IOC or IIHF step in and say "Two is the maximum!"

3. The THIRD version has a weird red armband on the right side (hidden in the one above), and many people have noticed that it looks like an old Nazi armband. Whose clever idea was it to sneak that on there?


Whoever picked Nike to design these abominations needs to never use their services again. If I were a player on one of these teams, you can bet I'd speak out and say "I'm proud to be on Team X, but not proud to wear these uniforms."