All entries for October 2005

October 31, 2005

Social Viewing

All over the United Kingdom otherwise perfectly sane, rational people are watching The X-Factor in order to spend quality time with housemates, brethren and spice (the plural of spouse).

In the worst cases these people find themselves forming opinions about who should stay in and find themselves groaning when Kate Thornton says "we'll tell you after the break". Indeed these people now know that Kate Thornton presents the program and not Ant and Dec as previously assumed by people who avoid ITV like the metaphorical bird-flu it is.

The Government is concerned about this phenomenom as experiments have shown that watching such drivel can reduce a person's IQ by 10%. So a person who previously had an IQ of 110 would find themselves left with just 78 IQ points after watching an episode of the aforementioned X-Factor.

A common defence against the intellectual impact of the show is to watch it "ironically". This involves tutting alot, moaning about how the contestants don't have any talent and were picked for their looks/personalities, that you could do better on a karaoke machine after half a dozen pints and laughing malevolently at the snide remarks that Darth Mentor Simon Cowell says. Unfortunately, whilst this helps preserve intelligence it pushes people TQ (Twatness Quotient) up by an inordinent 25%.

The best defence is to throw your television set out of the window as though you were a crazed rock star who had just found out that they were being dropped by their label after not selling as many records as the latest TV created teeny-boppers.

Do it now.


October 28, 2005

Formula Blog: Post Season Detox

So another Formula One Season comes to an end, Alonso may have won the real title, but in this championship you need more than fast skills. Personality, a GSOH and good locks of hair are all required. So in reverse order, this is how things turned out (positions 24–16):

Disqualified: Jenson Button He would have been in 14th place, already hampered by contractual wranglings; integrity is valued highly in Formula Blog. Ultimately he has driven well this season but off the track he's been a very poor version of a sporting hero. The clincher which led to his disqualification was this quote taken from FHM when asked about Danica Patrick's F1 chances:

Danica is very quick. But in F1 cars I can't see it happening due to the G-force in fast corners… And one week of the month you wouldn't want to be on the circuit with them, would you? A girl with big boobs would never be comfortable in the car. And the mechanics wouldn't concentrate. Can you imagine strapping her in?

Whereas a male driver with a big head fits so snugly into a racing car, of course. I really don't think Button is in any position to comment on mood swings, I'm sure Danica Patrick is at least capable of choosing which team to drive for without the whole sorry mess ending up in court.

-35pts, 23rd Place: Jacques Villeneuve: It's been a miserable season watching a former champion go so badly, god only knows what it was like being a former world champion going so badly. To Villeneuve's credit he did manage some strong points scoring finishes, notably drives such as Imola, but the trouble is that you'd have expected more from him. Struggling to hang on to Felipe Massa's gearbox isn't befitting for a driver of Villeneuve's talent.

-20pts, 22nd Place: Takuma Sato: Before the season began I had this to say about Sato:

Heís completely crazy. Itís absolutely fantastic. Its hard to think of a driver who tried to make more overtaking manoeuvres last year than Sato, even though sometimes you had to wonder if maybe the others had got it right (Nurburgring anyone?). Even so, if only a few more drivers tried so hard F1 would be much more exciting.

Now I think I'll edit this to:

Heís completely crazy. Itís absolutely terrible. Its hard to think of a driver who tried to make more stupid overtaking manoeuvres than Sato… ever, sometimes you had to wonder if maybe the others should have punched him in the face. If a few more drivers tried so hard to be dangerous F1 would be a wreckers yard.

-6pts, 21st Place: Rubens Barrichello I like Barrichello, but it's not worked out for him this year. He's driven well on occasion: Australia and Europe leap immediately to mind. But he's been let down by a few foolish whinges, such as moaning about Schumacher's move on him on the last lap at Monaco. I hope he's made a great decison joining BAR, er, Honda because he's a driver capable of winning plenty more races and in the right circumstances, possibly even a championship. Though I suppose the right circumstances would have been Schumacher retiring a few years ago and Barrichello taking titles for Ferrari.

-4pts, 20th Place: Ralf Schumacher I must admit that Ralf Schumacher's grown on me slightly this year. He had a torrid start (relative to Trulli) and continued to whinge but he came on strong towards the end of the year. He's one of those drivers who when he's on it can produce fantastic drives, but unfortunately it's all a bit too rare.

2pts, 19th Place: Vitantonio Liuzzi His position in the championship is not indicative of a dislike for the guy, more of him only getting to drive in four races. In those races he did okay but you can't really say much more than that, not compared to (the admittedly more experienced) Christian Klien's sparkling qualifying performances and solid races. At least Liuzzi's an interesting character. When he gets into an F1 car for a full season I fully expect him to have those silver spinning hub-caps fitted to his wheels.

2pts, 18th Place: Antonio Pizzonia I was mega impressed with his performance in Italy, unfortunately the memory of this is blotted by his tangling with Montoya in Belgium, though it's impossible to be sure of who's fault that was due to the poor TV coverage. Sorry, I mean "perfectly normal standard for F1" TV coverage.

6pts, 17th Place: Patrick Friesacher Before the season began I was interested to see what Friesacher could do in an F1 car. He'd been good, if not spectacular in F3000 for the previous seven hundred years or so. He made a strong start but by mid-season Albers seemed to have the upper hand and when he ran out of money that was it. It's a shame for him but he'll probably be able to make a good career in Sports Cars or elsewhere.

-2pts, 16th Place: Tiago Monteiro At the start of the year you'd have reckoned he'd struggle to beat the medical car round the first few corners, but he's easily the driver to show the most improvement over the course of the year. He beat Karthikeyan in the one race of the season that we saw the Jordans (Indy) and got his piece of F1 silverware. On the subject of unlikely podium finishes I recently had a dream where I finished third in a Grand Prix. What does it say about me that I dreamt of finishing third and not winning? I digress. Monteiro's best drive was surely in Belgium to score the only genuine Jornardi points of the year.


October 15, 2005

Formula Blog: Round 18 – Japanese Grand Prix

Oh no! Now the championship (the real one that is) has been sewn up I've lost all enthusiasm for an extra one. Well for the sake of completeness here are some points:

Drivers

10pts Raikkonen
8pts Schumacher
6pts Webber
5pts Coulthard
4pts Monteiro
3pts Massa
2pts Klien
1pt Alonso
-2pts Barrichello
-3pts Ralf
-5pts Heidfeld
-6pts Villeneuve
-8pts Sato
-10pts Fisichella

Drivers Standings

With one round to go six drivers have a chance of taking the title (strange how that worked out), but let's face it: it's gonna be Alonso or Raikkonen. As for who's the biggest chump: Villeneuve's taken it with great aplomb.

47pts Alonso
43pts Raikkonen
42pts Webber
37pts Coulthard
36pts Klien
30pts Schumacher
30pts Heidfeld
24pts Montoya
22pts Trulli
22pts Albers
21pts Fisichella
14pts Doornbos
12pts Button
12pts Massa
10pts Karthikeyan
9pts de la Tosa
8pts Monteiro
6pts Friesacher
5pts Pizzonia
2pts Liuzzi
-6pts Barrichello
-9pts Ralf
-10pts Sato
-35pts Villeneuve

Constructors

I never got round to blogging the constructors points from Brazil. Whoops. It's not as though anyone cares anyway but here we go:

10pts Renault
8pts Jordan
6pts Ferrari
5pts McLaren
4pts Red Bull
2pts Minardi
1pt Sauber
-2pts Toyota
-3pts BAR:
5pts Williams

And the points from Japan are:

10pts Williams
8pts McLaren
6pts Renault
5pts Red Bull
3pts Jordan
2pts Minardi
1pt Ferrari
-1pt Toyota
-2pts BAR
-8pts Sauber

Constructors Standings

69pts McLaren
67pts Red Bull
64pts Renault
60pts Minardi
50pts Toyota
18pts Sauber
10pts BAR
-2pts Williams
-7pts Ferrari
-8pts Jordan


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