Day 49 – Half way

4 Nov

Today, Day 49, is officially the half way point of my time in Europe. Shortly after I started this blog I realized that I’d screwed up the titles. <Day – Number-of-Days-Since-Departure> doesn’t really indicate anything save the amount of time I’ve been out of Canada. If I’d gotten it right I would have used <Day – Number-of-Days-Since-Departure of Total-Number-of-Days-in-Journey>. It would have helped provide more context for where I am in my journey.

There’s a perfect sports analogy for this.

When it comes to the clock, ice hockey has soccer beat, hands down. Hockey starts at 20:00 and counts down to 00:00. Pretty easy. Soccer on the other hand starts at 00:00 and ends at approximately 45:00. What use is this? I mean, who really cares how far one is into the game? What matters is how much time is remaining. This is especially frustrating for new spectators to the sport. We’re continually asking the guy next to us how much time is left. And the overtime is a different duration than the regulation time! They could easily solve this problem by just starting at 90:00 or 30:00 or whatever and counting down to zero. Extra time? That’s why God invented negative numbers.

But like many problems in the world, this one will never get fixed because “it’s always been that way”. It’s too bad because soccer has some really big problems that need to be addressed. And if they can’t fix the easy ones, what chance do they have with the difficult ones?

I’ve often wondered why books don’t do this (count down instead of up). Note: I’m aware that Chuck Palahniuk did this for his Survivor novel. But with a book you actually know when it’s going to end because there are visual and tactile indicators of how much is left. To find out you simply open the book to the place where the stuff you have not read and the stuff you have read converge. Then you take the book with both hands and compare the amount of pages between each index finger and thumb. If the one on the right is a lot smaller than the one on the left, you are close to the finish.

And if there are zero pages in your right hand, the book is over.

I want to be clear that they should NOT do this with movies. I personally hate knowing the duration of a movie. When I go in there I want to be surprised. About everything. And nowadays it’s a lot of work to shield oneself from this information. The movie duration is all over the Internet. And if you have to decide at what time to see the film, the spacing of the showings can give away how long it is. There’s one show at 19:00 and one at 22:00, thanks a lot MovieTickets.com.

I might actually take this opportunity to change the convention I’ve been using. WordPress has a feature where you can go back and make minor edits to each post. The title is one of the things you can change without much fuss.

One Response to “Day 49 – Half way”

  1. Uncle Ross November 4, 2011 at 23:19 #

    For the injury time (faking time) in soccer (football) they should use
    imaginary numbers (√-1).

    I read books on a Kindle now so the thinkness thing doesn’t work. However, I don’t want to know how much is left. Like you for movies, I want to place myself completely in the hands of the author.

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