Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lost Lyrics

I have a pretty varied list of musical tastes, probably because I come from a musical family. I'll listen to rock, classical, R&B, opera, rap... whatever. Just so long as I like the sound of it. There's only one thing that's a surefire killer for me no matter how good a song is musically: Lyrics.

I hate bad lyrics. Kills the song for me. That's probably why I don't like most pop songs. Ooo, look at me! I'm 13 years old and I know soooo much about relationships!


Sidebar: I actually took a list of Justin Bieber songs, put it into an excel spreadsheet, randomized it, and saw what spit out. A song called "One Less Lonely Girl" about - you guessed it - teenage romance. Good times.

Sidebar to the Sidebar: The song was written by the immortal songwriting team of Ezekiel Lewis, Balewa Muhammad, Sean Hamilton, and Hyuk Shin. Once they finished pounding out "One Less Lonely Girl" they moved on to UN Resolution 409 concerning the state of the world's freshwater supplies.

It's not just teens singing moronically that kills a tune for me. For instance. I got into Kings of Leon for a bit. Then I started picking up on their lyrics:

From "Pickup Truck":

Hate to be so emotional
I didn't aim to get physical
But when he pulled in and revved it up
I said, 'you call that a pick up truck?'
And in the moonlight I throwed him down
Kickin' screamin' & rolling around
A little piece of a bloody tooth
Just so you know I was thinking of you
Just so you know ohhhhh

Then there's this, from "Crawl":

You broke my mouth
The bloody bits are spittin' out
Is your grave unscathed?
The worm is countin' down the day

Dude, learn how to fight! Seriously; does a songwriting session start with you going out and getting your ass kicked? Granted, this is what they look like, so maybe getting your ass kicked is more of a common occurrence in their world than in mine:

My most hit and miss category is definitely rap/R&B. For instance, I really like K'Naan, a guy who spent his youth in Somalia before coming to Canada as a refugee:

From "ABC's":

I'm from the most risky zone, oh
No place is more shifty global
More pistols, Russian revolvers
We shootin' all that is normal

But it ain't just because we want to
We ain't got nowhere we can run to
Somebody please press the undo
They only teach us the things that guns do

Or this, from "Wavin' Flag":

So many wars, settling scores
Bringing us promises, leaving us poor
I heard them say 'love is the way'
'Love is the answer,' that's what they say

But look how they treat us, make us believers
We fight their battles, then they deceive us
Try to control us, they couldn't hold us
'Cause we just move forward like Buffalo Soldiers

But we struggling, fighting to eat
And we wondering, when we'll be free
So we patiently wait for that faithful day
It's not far away but for now we say

When I get older I will be stronger
They'll call me freedom just like a wavin' flag

YEEEAAAHHHHH!!! Now them's some lyrics! Ok, so yeah. I like K'Naan. Mostly because he doesn't glorify violence or sing about getting drunk and bangin "Ho's". That's the kind of thing that can really turn me off a song, even if I like the artist. For instance, I like B.O.B. for the most part, but a song like Strange Clouds?
All we do is pour it up
All night, drinks out
(That's how we do it)
(That's how we do it)
And all we do it light it up
All night, all you see is strange clouds
Strange clouds, strange clouds

Not working for me.

Last but not least... actually no. It is least. I don't like country. With country music you need start with the assumption it's bad lyrics and move on from there. It's literally all about divorce/alcohol/trucks/rodeo. It's the most depressing art form on the planet! Don't believe me? Try this on for size:

It's time to pack our bags and hit the highway
And head on back for Christmas holiday
I'll fall apart when I pull in the driveway
It's my first time home since brother passed away

His favorite time was always Christmas
We'd reminisce about the days gone by
Oh, how I wish that he were still here with us
My memories of him will never die

Do you know what the blacked out lines say? Here, let me reveal them:
It's time to pack our bags and hit the highway
And head on back for Christmas holiday
I'll fall apart when I pull in the driveway
It's my first time home since brother passed away

His favorite time was always Christmas
We'd reminisce about the days gone by
Oh, how I wish that he were still here with us
My memories of him will never die

This is what passes for a Christmas song in country? My god people  lighten up for crying out loud! No wonder your dog ran away with the truck.


How is boxing still a sport? It's a contest predicated entirely on the concept of inflicting long-lasting physical harm on the other person. You could literally have a sport called "Competitive Choking" and it wouldn't be as physically damaging to its athletes as boxing is.

Where else would you see this? And heck, if this is ok why not other sports like Ear Biting or Ball-Punching? Oh wait... those things already happen in boxing!

Sorry boxing. When UFC is a safer sport than you, maybe it's time to move on.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weathering the Storm

I should have been a weatherman. Weatherperson? Maybe that's what you're supposed to say but I'm a guy as well as a person soooo... I'm sticking with weatherman. When describing myself anyway. I'll do my best to be politically correct elsewhere.

Anyhoo, I bet you I could do that job with no training whatsoever and there wouldn't be a noticeable difference between my forecasts and anyone else's. Now don't get me wrong; there's lots of stuff weatherpeople do. Nimbuses and clouds and pressure and prevailing winds and stuff. Plus the radar and thingys. Heck, they even have something in Seattle called "double doppler radar" that they're very proud of, despite the fact that it sounds porn-related.

The thing is, weathermammals do a crap-ton of work to get 5% more accuracy than looking at a calendar and glancing out the window before saying "Hmm... looks like rain. Bet tomorrow will be rainy too." Oh sure, there's long-term forecasts but those would be easy enough to deal with. I'd just always predict moderate to poor weather for the weekend. That way anyone who got upset when they saw the forecast would be pleasantly surprised, instead of angry that the weather didn't go the way they wanted it to. Simple. As for other days? Well c'mon, how hard is this to predict:

Cloudy with a 60% chance of showers? Way to go out on a limb there guys. "Meh... it'll either rain or it won't." Not exactly something you can plan a golf trip around. And for crying out loud, is there an easier place in the world to predict the weather in than Vancouver? Africa during monsoon season? Summer in the Sahara? Winter in Antarctica? "Here's your forecast for McMurdo Station: Go outside for ten minutes and your balls will fall off. In other news..."

Anyway, I think I could pull it off without anyone noticing.

I wish companies hadn't gotten all bacon-ey and started jamming it into everything under the sun. Bacon was better when it was the stealth awesome ingredient. Now it's a little less awesome.

Bacon is the indie band of food groups.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spacing Out

I've been on a real space kick recently. For instance, I can see Venus outside my office window right now*. Venus. A planet. With my eyes! Isn't that awesome? It's another freaking planet just floating around out there, chilling with its friends. "Oh look... it's the moon, a whole other planet, and a gigantic perpetual nuclear explosion that hovers in the air. Just another day in my backyard."

Speaking of the moon, how is it that my generation looks at the moon and thinks to itself "Oh yeah, totally doable." Really? Take a look up someday, does that thing look easy to get to? And have you seen the crap they went to the moon with? If I'd lent them my phone back then it would have revolutionized the entire mission. Hell, I probably could have written an excel spreadsheet that would automatically handle all the computer functions for the trip.

Just for fun, here's an example of how ridiculous the moon landing was. This is a quote from the Neil Armstrong biography where he's talking about descending onto the moon:

On the double-paned window on Neil’s side of the LM (Paul: Lunar Module. And good to know it was double-paned, keeps out the draft) there was a vertical line with horizontal marks on it. As the LM flew facedown, Neil used a stopwatch to time the number of seconds it took to move from mark A to mark B (Paul: aka, rocks on the ground) on the window line. By that he calculated the spacecraft’s angular rate. With him in the cabin Neil had a chart that he used to compare tracking rates with expected values at various positions along the orbit. Differences between his visual observations and the expected values allowed him to estimate both the altitude of the LM’s perilune and the time at which they would reach it.

Hansen, James R. (2005-10-18). First Man (p. 453). Simon & Schuster, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Did you hear that? The moon landing depended on proper use of a stopwatch!!! Yeah, I knew their gear was budget but c'mon. I have a ton of respect for these folks. It ain't easy sending someone to the moon with tin cans, a stopwatch, and about 45,000 cigarettes (seriously, read one of these biographies. Those dudes smoked a lot).

As a side note, Erika and I have an ongoing argument about going to Mars. As in, I'd totally go if given the chance. Erika has some flimsy argument about "If you left me for five years to go to Mars I would either leave you while you were gone or kill you when you got back" but I don't get it. My argument is this: It's Mars. Who doesn't want to go to Mars???

The real irony is that Erika is a scientist and would be waaay more likely to get picked for the mission. Me? I'm only going if they decide they want an entertainment director for the flight.


When did I become a morning person? I remember when I was younger I'd sleep in until 11am and still feel tired. Then for a while I had to get up early for work. Now I'm up at 6:30am writing this despite not needing to be at work for 3 more hours because I'd be too tired to do it after work.

By the way, why do night people get all the coffee cred? "Ooo, look at me. I'm soooo tired, I just can't FUNCTION until I get my morning cup of coffee." Hey, great for you, you need that one cup of joe in the morning to get you going and then it's off to the races. Do you know what afternoons are like for a morning person? If coffee were secreted by small woodland creatures I'd have a cage of them under my desk that I'd wring out directly into my mouth at 2pm. Those critters would start shaking in the corner as soon as they smelled ham sandwich being eaten.

*Actually, after a while it started moving so I'm pretty sure it was a plane. But you can totally see Venus with the naked eye in the morning so everything I said above remains applicable.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Travel Advisory

And we're back folks!

As I mentioned, Complete Tangent was going on hiatus while I went on a job hunt, and that was literally my 9-5 job for the last 6 weeks. But now, thanks to the good people at Skybox Labs and their discerning taste in designers, the blog is up and running again.

Last we heard Erika and I were in Australia. But how does one get from Australia to Vancouver? By plane of course! And do you know what the best part of flying is? The emergency exit cards!

Yes, I am referring to those little cards they stick in the seat-back in front of you that explain how you're going to survive when your 500 tonnes of plane becomes 500 tonnes of boat. These things are a great source of comedy gold. For example:

What is wrong with this woman's child! Is it a child? Is he the white Gary Coleman? Why did she dress him in beige pants, brown socks, and tan shoes?


"If you do need to open the emergency exit doors, make sure you do it like the steely-eyed motherf**er that you are."


"Don't forget to molest women on their way out of the plane. If you happen to see a man who isn't taking advantage of this opportunity, ensure that he is aware the opportunity exists."


"Well if I can't listen to my AM/FM radio or play with my RC cars what the hell am I supposed to do for the next 15 hours!?"


Apparently the proper procedure if you are traveling with an infant is to form yourself into the shape of a canon and point the baby's head in the direction the plane is traveling.


Oh no, hideous child is back! And he's an infant? Wow, that was unexpected. Let's break down the steps to making sure your hideous child can grow up and one day make hideous babies of their own:

STEPS 1-2:

Wait patiently until the flight attendant brings you a life vest for your child. Despite the burning and the screaming your child should be quite quiet and patient during this process, assuming you held them in canon formation during landing.

STEPS 3-4:

Carefully jam your child's oversized head through the hole made for someone not shaped like a Lord of the Rings extra. Try not to think of childbirth. Instruct your hideous mistake to step carefully through the leg straps.

STEPS 6-7:

Carefully cinch your man-child into his floatation device. Please note that you should not have attempted to put yours on yet, as that would make you a horrible person.

STEPS 8-9:

Pull on the inflation cords, even though we all know your unruly child would have activated them on their own 5 steps ago. Pretend that you don't see it inflating and blow into the inflation tubes anyway, getting angry when little Damien doesn't go purple from lack of oxygen. Trigger the light on his vest and push him out to sea.

While writing the blog in Australia, a few things caught my eye that didn't quite have a home in a regular blog post. Such as:

Uuuh... are you sure this is a good idea?


Is Motorola making condoms now?


Hey, mixed nuts! Wait, what' that in the top left corner?

Oh. Uh, how very... Australian of you.


"I believe in anarchy so strongly that I'm willing to put up posters and organize people!"


Good ol' high viz rope. Man that stuff can do anything. See, you can even climb mountains with it!

Oh. Well you could have been clearer in your messaging.


"Welcome to Australia, where everyone gets out of the water until the helicopter following the shark tells us it's ok to go back in!"


Oh hey, it's our good friends at Apple! Sure, let's buy an iPad. Dum de dum... it's checkout time! Wait, what's that option at the bottom?

Please tell me that's not what I think it is. Dare I click on it?

Oh wow, that is what I think it is. Just in case you're wallowing in debt but still want the latest toys, Apple lets you split your purchase up over two credit cards. Stay classy Apple, stay classy.


Finally, just in case you ever wondered where these ideas come from, here's the whiteboard from Sydney... a scary insight into how my mind works:

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pontificating on the Probable Return to a Proper Posting Period

Hey folks!

Sorry about not posting anything lately. Since getting back to Vancouver pretty much all of my time has been taken up with that time-honoured tradition called "looking for work", so I've been a bit distracted. Which isn't to say that there hasn't been some fantastic blog-fodder... oh Lordy no. For instance, the time when I spent an hour on the phone explaining to a company that yes, improper use of a colon instead of a semicolon CAN completely change the meaning of a return policy (hey, they were $150 dollar pillows ok?). 

Complete Tangent will be back in full force soon enough. Until then, wish me luck in the job hunt!


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Almost There!

Hey folks! No blog this week as we're pretty busy out here. If you're wondering why, I've supplied a fun word jumble to see if you can work out what's going on. Have fun!

Ever looked at a big pile of liquor that you thought for sure you'd have time to drink, but you really don't, only it was so expensive that you don't really want to get rid of it, so you simply say "Honey, we can make this happen. Trust me."?

Normally this is where someone jokingly says "Um... me neither" but that's not true. That totally happened.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Signing Your Life Away

You know how when you think of Australia the first thing you think of is deadly animals? Crocs, snakes, spiders, jellyfish... hell, even the large flightless birds have a gigantic claw on their foot that could disembowel a liger.

Well, rest assured that the tourism bureau of Australia is aware of that reputation and desperately hoping to change it. At some point it must have occurred to them that people don't want to go places where they might die and now they're on a mission to downplay the risks associated with the local fauna. For example:

Why don't we look at that again:

What? Crocodile attacks may cause injury? What the hell else would they cause, a hickey? In case you've been living under a rock, this is what a saltwater croc looks like:

You know what actually might happen if you ignore the sign and get attacked while swimming in croc-infested waters? You might get to think "I've made a terrible mistake" in the half-second before you're dragged under. By the way, they're all over the place in Northern Australia and Queensland and one of those places is named Darwin. I don't think that's an accident.

By the way, any of you wondering how effective that sign was?

I kid you not, this photo was taken directly on the other side of that sign. Wow. What's going through these people's heads besides sharp teeth? Maybe they don't understand English? From what I've heard it's always German tourists who get eaten and – putting aside the fact that practically every German speaks English – the Australian government has taken rigorous steps to prevent more German chompings:

Look, I'm all for preventing croc attacks on German tourists, but doesn't this sign need to be WAY more forceful? Come on guys, you need something that screams WENN SIE HIER SCHWIMMEN EIN KROKODIL ESSEN SIE! Something like this:

See, I think that gets the point across with authority! Well, if you're German anyway.

At this point I should mention it's not just the risks of crocodiles that are getting downplayed. Check out this gem (which was an actual sign at the beach):

Ok, I get it. Jellyfish, oh no! But what does that really mean?

That's a lot of text and I want to go swimming. Just tell me if they're dangerous or not.

Oh. Well that does sound bad. I don't like excruciating pain, and death is super inconvenient. Surely there are steps I can take if I should happen to be stung?

Uh, "Treatment involves liberal drenching with vinegar and cardio-pulmonary resuscitation." What? You can't give someone medical care advice that leaps directly from "vigorously rub fish and chips into the wound" all the way to "get yourself hooked up to an artificial lung ASAP!" Shouldn't there be some intermediate steps along the way? Maybe slap them around a little, give 'em a shot of whiskey? That kind of thing. I mean... sweet merciful crap. Shouldn't you be a bit more forceful than "Avoid a painful encounter" when you've got news like this to share?

That said, the dangerous animals of Australia are a national treasure. If you get killed by a crocodile or a box jellyfish there's a pretty good chance it was your fault. And while Cassowaries are dangerous, it's usually the ones who've been fed by humans that end up attacking people. So maybe it wasn't your fault, but it was a person who screwed the animal up all the same.

In fact, people are a bigger threat to Cassowaries than they are to us. The bird is critically endangered and they lose dozens to roadkill incidents every year. That's why you see signs like this around:

Actually that's, um... that's kind of a crappy sign. The top part is fine, but the one on the bottom is a bit budget, isn't it? It looks like Homer Simpson passed out after a costume party. Come to think of it, it reminds me of something else too...

What could it possible be...

Oh come on guys. Really? You have this crazily endangered awesome bird and you try to save a few bucks by repainting speedbump signs to portray a dead Cassowary? Are you joking?

You know what? That's it, I give up. Why are you even bothering? Forget the caution signs, forget the treatment options, forget the warnings about what tourists should or should not do and where they should or should not do it. You've got dangerous crap all over the place, I suggest you hang this in the airport and call it a day:

I was ranting up a nice stream of righteous indignation about Australians chopping down their rainforest to put up fields of sugarcane and cattle farms when I realized I was eating a cheeseburger and drinking a coke at the time. So I may have been premature in my critique.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cassowaries are Awesome

No blog post this week, we're on vacation up in Queensland visiting friends, hitting the Great Barrier Reef, and hopefully... more crocodiles! However we did see something awesome already that I thought I'd share because, well, it's just so awesome:

Some facts about Cassowaries:

  • They have three dagger-sharp toes that can totally mess you up
  • Critically endangered
    • There's only 1500-2500 left
    • The area we were in is the largest density in Queensland... where there's 40
  • Male cassowaries take the female's last name, or something like that. One way or another the female takes off while the dude raises the kids
  • The cassowary is the only animal capable of dispersing the seeds of more than 70 different species of tree
  • Sugarcane and cattle are way, way more important than cassowaries are

For your viewing pleasure, I have a video to share as well.
CAUTION: SOME ADULT LANGUAGE (I'm not saying who it was)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I'm Afraid of Emily Dickinson

Like many of you, I have a Kindle. I love the thing, so does my wife, and it's a regular fixture around the household. If you're not familiar with Kindles, they come with a pre-installed pack of screen savers that are of famous authors, great moments through literary history; that kind of thing. Every time you turn it off it will cycle through to a different image, and that picture will just kind of linger on your bedstand until the next time you're ready to read. You can't change them (not without hacking your Kindle), so you're pretty much stuck with them.

Which is why I reel back in horror every time I see this picture:


Sweet dancing Moses; why would I EVER want that to be staring back at me from my bedside table? Look, I'm not here to bash on Emily Dickinson buuut... woof. That might be the most hideous picture ever taken. I'm not alone in this: Erika reacts as though a rat just dropped from the ceiling and started dry-humping her wrist every time this heartthrob is staring back at her. It's gotten to the point where whenever we turn off our Kindles there's a moment of fear as the screensaver pops up, then a prolonged sigh of relieve if Emily Horrorson isn't lurking in the weeds. If it is the E-hids, that Kindle is back on so fast that keys are flying off as we desperately attempt to switch the screen savers.

Seriously... how the hell did this ever end up a mainstay on the Kindle? And who hates Emily Dickinson so much that THIS was the picture they selected? And why, out of 23 different screen savers does this one seem to come up 1 in every 5 times?

It's not like this is Emily's fault either. Yes, she should absolutely have fired her stylist. But it's not like she was an inherently ugly gal and the Kindle team was choosing from a pile of equally ogreish pictures. Case in point:

See? Why wasn't that the picture they chose? I mean, yeah. She's not runway material but this is 1847 we're talking about. If you got to the age of twenty without coughing to death or having half your face fall off you were considered attractive. Well, unless you were Kindle Dickinson, who instead looks like she may or may not be her own brother in drag.

Come to think of it, that Kindle picture does remind me of something. Hmm... what could it be?

Yeah, there's the ruffled, Pagliacci-esque neckpiece buut... maybe it's the black and white that's throwing me off?

Well c'mon, it's not like she showed up for the portrait-shoot in black and white clothes.

Getting closer, but are we sure the collar wasn't coloured too?

Ooo, that's just about it. One more tiny edit...

Bang on!

Erika and I had our anniversary on Saturday. I wore a nice long-sleeved black collared shirt. We went, had dinner, then came home. That was the point when I realized my shirt had been on inside-out the entire time.

Yep... I'm awesome.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Top 10 Olympic Demonstration Sports That Didn't Quite Make It

I think the Olympic roster of sports is pretty comprehensive at this point. There don't seem to be any glaring sporting omissions other than golf, and that's being remedied at Rio 2016 (they're adding Rugby too, but I don't have enough global awareness to know whether that makes sense or not. That said, I'm already predicting Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa on the podium in some order).

That said, we're all familiar with the concept of "demonstration sports". Where some sport gets a trial run or two, then is either included or tossed out. Many of today's sports started as demonstrations: Curling, speed skating, tennis, taekwondo... the list goes on.

We're not here to talk about those sports.

What I want to talk about are the sports that didn't make it in. Those sports that for whatever unimaginable reason didn't get bumped up to full medal status. I mean, really. How could the sports below not be a part of the Olympic Games?

Let me start by saying this is not a comprehensive list. There have been a lot of demonstration sports so I'll just skip over some, such as the two times the US tried to jam American Football onto the roster (1904 St Louis, Los Angeles 1932), or when Australia retaliated by trying to slip Aussie Rules onto the list at the 1956 games in Melbourne (two sports which I have blogged about previously). Not that those are the only examples; half the countries who have hosted an Olympics tried to quietly stack the deck with an event they were pretty sure they'd win (can I get a "what up" to Calgary 1988 for the addition of Curling and Short Track Speed Skating as a demo?). So let's focus on the most awesome sports. In this case, the Top 10 most awesome.

But first, the close-but-no-cigars:

Cannon Shooting - Paris 1900
Literally, shooting cannons at stuff. In the most egregious example of ballot-stuffing in the history of the Olympics every competitor was French. Of course, considering what happened 14 years later I don't think the Germans were very impressed by their performance.

Fire Fighting - Paris 1900
By the way, the Paris 1900 Olympics get the gold medal in ridiculous sports. In this case it's fire fighting. Really? Fire fighting? This only makes sense when you consider that there was also:

Lifesaving - Paris 1900
My guess is that they had people show up for the event, lit the grandstand on fire, then saw how everything turned out.

Pigeon Racing - Paris 1900
Yep, we're back in Paris again where people are basically raising pigeons then hoping for the best. We're not really hoping for athletes in peak physical condition at this point, are we? Also, homing pigeons have to be bred in the place they're flying back to. Which means anyone wanting to compete had to move to the location of the games. A bit of a hometown advantage, no?

Cycle Polo - London 1908
Polo. On bicycles. Discuss.

Angling - Paris 1900
Fishing? Apologies to my fish-fanatic wife but this had to be the most boring spectator sport in the history of the Olympics:

HUSBAND:  "Hey honey, what do you want to get tickets for, Gymnastics or 'Old-Guys-Trying-To-Stay-Awake-In-Boats?"

WIFE:          "..."

HUSBAND:  "Honey?"

WIFE:         "I'm still thinking..."


So pretty:

Eric Ward from Provo, UT, USA

I'm thinking that in 1900 there was a lot less in the way of safety associated with going up in a hot air balloon so we can give them some bonus points in the "risking life and limb" category. That said, isn't this exactly the same as turning the opening ceremonies into an actual medal event? Also, this is another sport that the French invented, put on the list, then subsequently won every event in. Way to go France! You're the best. Hey, did you know that I'm the Olympic champion at snarky blogging on Tuesdays in my pajamas? It's a demonstration sport in the Glebe 2012 games.

I'm not a big fan of anything involving a motor in the Olympics and apparently the IOC isn't either, having unilaterally banned motorsports from the Olympic Games. Also, let's factor in that this event took place in 1904! What did it look like? Were there cranks on the front of these things to get them started?

Fortunately I was able to find footage of a race held in downtown Vancouver in 1900 where they actually mounted a camera onto one of the vehicles. I didn't know they had the ability to record sound back then, but it really adds to the video:

I found a transcription of the early meeting where they determined which 5 events would make up Winter Pentathlon:

GUSTAF:  We need to make sure those Biathlon guys don't get in ahead of us, so let's start with cross-country skiing and shooting. That'll kill their momentum.

BERTIL:    Great call Gustaf. What else?

KLAUS:    Downhill skiing right? I mean, that's kind of a tap-in.

    YES! Gustaf, Klaus, you guys are on fire! Only two left!

GUSTAF:  Uhh...

KLAUS:    Snowmobiles?

 No, they're kind of out on the whole "motor" thing.

KLAUS:    Yeah, that's true. 

 Dogsleds are an option...

KLAUS:    That's a great idea Gustaf. Let's just hand a gold medal to those effing Alaskans and their "Oh look at me, I'm so cold" Canadian neighbours. 

 Aw crap, you're right. Sorry about that.

KLAUS:    ...

GUSTAF:  ... 

KLAUS:    ... 

GUSTAF:  Screw it, let's just tack on fencing and equestrian. We'll make 'em do it outside. 

BERTIL:    That's our five! Really awesome meeting guys, I'm super pumped. You guys pumped? Who wants to go to Applebees?

GUSTAF:  Shut it Bertil.

Ok, so I know everyone is expecting a fat joke here. I think there are more compelling arguments out there:

Ouch. I'm sorry Bowling, we just can't have that lack of professionalism in an Olympic sport. I mean, I get it. Who wouldn't be upset when some guy has a bad run on the craps table at the Mohegan Sun and wanders into your professional sporting event at the worst possible time? But please, you need to tone it down for the cameras.

Clearly seeking to recapture some of the event-rigging magic from the 1900 games, France introduced two demonstration sports that are french martial arts. Let me describe them for you, and I promise I am not making this up:

La Canne: Hitting people with a cane. For some reason they did not call it "caning".
Savate: Translates as "old shoe". It's kicking someone with your shoes on. No, really.

Here, I found some footage. Fast-forward to 2:38:

Unlike the other sports I desperately want this one in the Olympics. Why? Because it's awesome! Sure, it is almost identical to basketball in about a thousand different ways (other than being able to play behind the hoop, and no backboard), but it specifically has to be played as a mixed-gender sport! I love this! There are definitely not enough mixed gender sports in the Olympics. For instance, curling should have a mixed team.

Still, it's one thing for a sport to have both mixed and mono-gender teams like tennis or badminton, but to specify that teams are mixed? That's fantastic. By the way, if you're wondering what Korfball looks like take a gander. Just scrub through to wherever you like:

Not convinced? Well I bet this ass-kicking promotional video will change your mind:

It's going downhill as fast as you can! What's not to like? If the slalom is the Winter Games' equivalent of the hurdles, this is the 100m sprint! So what does it have going against it? Well, for starters it's as boring as hell. Don't believe me? Watch this and tell me it wouldn't be tiresome after two runs (skip ahead to 1:47):

In the track events we at least get to see the other runners; you know who crossed the line first. Here it's just some guy moving in a straight line and you have no idea what the hell just happened when he's done. Can you imagine how boring the 100m sprint would be if every athlete ran separately?

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't mention this as well:

"So, Princess Vespa. You see how large my helmet is..."

One last thing: In their demonstration year one of the guys hit a ski grooming machine at 225km/hr. Not the best way to impress the IOC.

Kite. Flying. People flying kites. How could this get more ridiculous?

Oh. It's a judged sport. With music. Like, for instance, "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean. I'm going to move on now.

Words... cannot describe:

But wait, there's more!

The second one is my favourite. I don't know what I like more: The ninja pole swinging, the moonwalk, or the fact that the announcer complements him with the word "slim".

Honestly... Ski Ballet?

I don't know what's more bizarre: That this was ever a sport, or that it appeared four times* in the middle of WWI and WWII. Are you kidding me? You've just come off the worst war in the history of mankind and the first thing you do is add a Demonstration Sport consisting of the military competing against each other? THAT'S WHAT THEY JUST DID! And it's not bad enough they did it between the wars, they also tossed one in after WWII because hey, why not?

You know what else? I don't even know what this sport is. All I could find out is that a) it took place in the snow, and b) it was judged by actual members of the military. In fact, here's a photo:

Those are the referees, they're from Italy, Switzerland, Poland, and um France. Wow, that must have been awkward. Apparently during judging Italy took France's vote while France just stood there, then Switzerland refused to vote at all. Meanwhile the Polish judge was never heard from again. By the way, can you guess who won that year?

The German Team

Norway. Yeah, I didn't see that coming either.

*Four appearances is the most for a sport that was never an actual Olympic event, but that's nowhere near the record for appearances as a demonstration sport. That distinction goes to Baseball, who suffered through demonstration sport status an incredible seven times (1912, 1936, 1952, 1956, 1964, 1984, and 1988) before the IOC finally took pity on it and gave it a courtesy run from 1992-2008 before dropping it in 2012.

Basically, baseball just wouldn't leave the IOC alone until they finally had sex a couple of times, only then the IOC realized it had made a huge mistake and dumped baseball. It told baseball a couple of things about "It's not you, it's me. The roster's just too big and we don't have the facility space for you", then proceeded to totally make out with golf. Now they're getting married, so baseball retaliated by getting a boob job and trying to send her A-game to the world cup but it's just kind of sad and awkward for everyone.

It's hard enough to win an Olympic medal in one sport, it blows my mind when people win them in two. Granted, that usually happens when there's similarity between the sports, such as in tug-of-war and rugby (yes, those were both Olympic sports. France just used their rugby team for both events) or Volleyball and Beach Volleyball (I'm looking at you Karch Kiraly). But there's other people who've done it in sports that have nothing to do with each other! Who are these people? How do you find the time? What is it you were fed as a child? Here's some examples:

Clara Hughes (CAN) - Speed Skating and Indoor Cycling (1996-2010)
Yes, both sports require crazy pistons for legs, but we're giving some serious bonus points for the fact that these are Winter and Summer sports (and she's Canadian). That's a lot of training. Plus, she's won an astounding 6 medals across two sports and wasn't far off the podium in 2012... in road cycling.

Rebecca Romero (GBR) - Cycling and Rowing (2004-2008)
Umm... what pod did this girl come out of? She wins a silver in Athens as a rower, then a back injury forces her to retire in 2006. Now she's bored, so she takes up cycling... and two years later she wins a gold medal in Beijing. WTF?

Jacob Tullin Thams (NOR) - Sailing and Ski Jumping (1924-1936)
Ski Jumping and Sailing? What? What sequence of events puts you in those two sports? Shouldn't this guy be a duke or something? Who else has that kind of free time? Jacob, you are officially the most random athlete of all time.

Gösta Åsbrink (SWE) - Gymnastics and Modern Pentathlon (1908-1912)

Roswitha Krause (GDR, aka East Germany) - Handball and Swimming (1968-1980)
There's very little info I can find about this woman, but I think it's safe to say that she had gigantic hands.

Fernand de Montigny (BEL) - Fencing and Field Hockey (1908-1924)
Sure Fernie, why not. I mean, there's absolutely no overlap between those sports so why wouldn't you be good at them? Oh by the way, you know what else isn't like Fencing and Field Hockey? Architecture. Whoops, did I forget to mention he was the architect of the Antwerp 1920 Olympic stadium? Oooookay then.

I wouldn't want to be any of these people's kid, those are some tough shoes to fill.