Battery heated hockey skates being tested for the NHL

Take one hockey skate and stick a battery in it to heat the blade, and this is what you get.

A Canadian-made heated skate blade touted as a means of boosting velocity was approved Tuesday for testing in the National Hockey League.

The Therma Blade will be used by as many as 10 NHL players in games and practices, said the blade’s inventor, Tory Weber of Calgary. The NHL will use this testing phase to examine possible safety issues and the blades’ effect on the ice to determine whether they should be used more widely within the league.

A battery in the back of the skate blade heats up to 5C, helping to reduce friction and push the wearer forward with less work, Weber said.

“It’s very simple technology. A warm blade basically creates a thin film of water and melts the ice,” Weber said. Skaters that use the heated blades, which will retail for about $399, find it’s much like skating on ice that has been freshly groomed by a Zamboni, he added. [cbc]

I have two reactions to this. One is that this is an incredibly neat way of using technology in such a simple way. It makes sense, and the science of it ridiculously smart. My other reaction is one of simply asking, buh?

You can call it complaining and sounding like an old timer, but we’ve come a long way since wooden sticks, skates, and sweaters. Composite sticks, synthetic jerseys, tougher padding made with less material, etc., but this kinda blows my mind.

Not only will you have to suit up, strap on your pads, tape up your shins, and lace everything up, but now you’ll have to make sure you check your batteries. Granted that it’s the equipment manager’s job to make sure that you stuff gets taken care of, but what happens if you start having a bad night on the ice because there is no juice left in your skates?

Imagine the post-game interview in the locker room and the player saying, “I was giving it my all, 110%, but apparently my skates were only at 30% charge capacity. They must have died half way through the third period. Everyone was really giving it their all, but… I’ll just have to get the circuitry in my skates checked out before the next game.”

That being said, I like the concept and am curious to see how it all plays out. Gretzky has given his seal of approval, but I’d really like to hear if this makes that much of a difference. On top of that, does making the blade even hotter allow for better performance? If that were the case and it became an unfair advantage, then that might mean league rules and temperature tests before every game, would it not?

MySpace still sucks

Dear MySpace,

MySpace still sucks. It sucked from when it first started and it continues to suck. Sure, it’s a great social media platform where bands can preview some of their tracks, people can send messages back and forth, and strippers can have direct, albeit virtual, contact with their fans.

MySpace sucks You started in 2003, so why do you still act like it? There is no rhyme or reason to the site. Where ever there is a space to put something, it gets filled. It all falls under a category of some type, but the design concept is… well, what design concept? It’s near gibberish.

You’re not Digg, and no you’re not Facebook, and there is a good chance that you never will be. Those folks still understood what the meaning of design overhaul meant for the sake of their site. It was for the better good of those who interact with the function of the website, and the effort makes those people want to come back for the simple fact that it makes sense.

RadioZoom has a page on your site, and I hate having to interact with it. Yes, it is an amazing way for artists to contact the podcast, but I deplore having to login and do anything with your site. The fact that users make it even more difficult by blinging out their MySpace pages, bands hardly excluded, makes it that much more worse. I know that’s not your fault, but if you did something about that, I would be quite over joyed.

Here’s an idea that I would like to see. As someone who throws music into their podcast, why not make it an easy way for bands to actually share music with those who are deemed good enough to download it, such as podcasters? Right now, it’s all or none for bands to select which songs their would like to have people download. If a band had the option of authorizing podcasts to grab their uploaded selections for play in a podcast episode, imagine the possibilities that could have.

You probably don’t care that I don’t like your site, and there are plenty of people out there that are just fine with it. You don’t like me, and I don’t like you. I’ll still pop in once in a while to check in on things and do my best to figure out who has contacted for what reason because of the sad fact that there is some usefulness out of your service. It doesn’t make using MySpace enjoyable though.

Zamboni-ing under the influence

I’ve seen this on numerous news sites, not to mention the various hockey blogs that I follow. There is just no way that I can pass this one up. And mind you, this did not happen in Canada.

NEWARK, New Jersey (AP) — It’s not drunken driving in New Jersey if it involves a Zamboni.

A judge ruled the four-ton ice rink-grooming machines aren’t motor vehicles because they aren’t useable on highways and can’t carry passengers.

Zamboni operator John Peragallo had been charged with drunken driving in 2005 after a fellow employee at the Mennen Sports Arena in Morristown, New Jersey, told police the machine was speeding and nearly crashed into the boards.

Police said Peragallo’s blood alcohol level was 0.12 percent. A level of 0.08 is considered legally drunk in New Jersey. [cnn]

Fortunately, no mascots were hurt in this incident. I have to add that the blame mostly resides on the “Sambuca with his breakfast coffee and two Valium-pills before work”, thanks to Bradley for picking that one out. But seriously, need I say more?

Why I will never have an alarm system for a car

Somewhere in a block radius of home, there is a car that has an uber-sensitive alarm. At this point, when I hear a heavy truck, maybe a semi or garbage truck, roll down the street, I pause. Wait for it… wait for it…

There are two outcomes. One is some beeping that is that early warning part of the system that says, “stay away from this car because it has really annoying sounds that will start blaring if you don’t step back.” The other is all of that before plus the really annoying sounds that go off for about a minute or two.

It’s been like this for the past two days. It’s almost a game, making bets if the car alarm will go off or not. And where is this person who owns this car? It’s like they just use it as a system of telling themselves, “Oh hey, I can hear my car outside. It’s still there!” At this point, I think the battery might drain itself because it has gone off so many times. And if I could find the source, I’d report it. For all I know, it’s missing a stereo system by now.

We’re not all like this

I’ve come to the conclusion that this is the reason why grudges about all Americans being stupid, ignorant, stuck up, and all of the above exists.

Who said David Beckham’s arrival in America would attract no attention? Not only has the erstwhile galactico and England captain made it onto the US equivalent of GMTV and elicited praise from Sly Stallone, he’s attracted the attention of Jayceon Taylor, aka gangster rapper The Game.

Showing a not entirely cohesive understanding of the game Americans call soccer, the South Central-based rapper (Beckham’s new side, LA Galaxy, is his local club!) was not entirely effusive about the arrival of the face of Gillette razors in his hood.

“I’d kick David Beckham’s ass on any given day,” the Game said when asked about Beckham. “I’d just pick the ball up and kick the shit out of the stadium, game over.”

Quite whether the Game’s expletive was referring to the ball, Beckham, or simply the action he was planning to take against LA Galaxy’s Home Depot Center remains to be seen. But The Game was on less steady ground when a follow-up question was put his way.

When asked his thoughts on Beckham’s ability as a footballer he responded simply: “Pretty good”. [guardian]

Dear rest of the world,

All Americans are not like this. Please don’t let our piece of crap version of popular culture influence you. I dislike this junk just as much as you guys do. There are some of us who look past it and enjoy other things in life that is not related to MTV, reality TV, and tabloid media.

This guy, on the other hand, is a moron. Feel free to rip on him.

Thank you.

Uggs for dogs

I should have seen it coming, and it was the sound that caught me before the sight. On my run this morning, it was below freezing once again. I understand the care people give their dogs. I’m not completely against the little boots that some owners throw onto the paws of their four legged friends.

It was that swishing sound that you often hear when kids where those gum or moon boots, and then they don’t pick up their feet enough as they walk. There was more of it though, and I only saw this one person walking their dog. That’s when I noticed the ugg boots[wiki] on the medium sized canine, fuzzy lining and all. I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but there is truth in seeing is believing.

Can’t escape the fire

Seriously, you stand no chance of avoiding it.

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) – Back by popular demand…

Shaw’s holiday fire log is celebrating its 20th anniversary and will be rolled out again this holiday season.

No need to chop or haul wood or stoke the fire.

For those who don’t experience the crackling of a warm fireside hearth over the holidays, Shaw Communications is once again comforting TV viewers with its yuletide fire log.

Beginning December 23rd and continuing through to December 27th, fire log fans can cozy up in front of their television sets for what’s become a holiday tradition for many viewers. [cknw]

Ah geez. Alright, I can’t quite say why I’m waging my own personal war against this. Maybe it’s because I would love more than anything to have our own fireplace. I don’t know. All I know is that this bugs me to no end.


Fake fire on demand

Oh for the love of god, make it stop. The thing that kills me is that it costs $1.99 for a 24 hour purchase. There are three flavors; music only, sounds of fire with music, or just the sound of fire. Classy.

Students too busy being smart to rock

Maybe it’s because I like Clinic, but this is nuts. Apparently, St. Martins College, a small school in London, England, had students protest their upcoming performance there. The reason? They had too much school work to do.

As previously reported, the university was scheduled to host a sold-out Clinic gig on December 14, but due to “pressure from a small minority of students, who saw the show as a perceived disruption to their studies and were threatening to stage a sit-in protest” (according to the band’s website), the concert was canceled.

A sit-in protesting a rock show?! What decade is this again? The fifties?

Tickets for the canceled show will be honored at the band’s next London show, tentatively scheduled for somet time in February 2007. Tickets can also be refunded from point of purchase. [pitchfork]

Really, I don’t get it, and this is like a strange portrayal of a scene from PCU[imdb]. If there was to be a big show that I wanted to check out when I was in school, then I busted my butt to make time for it. More often than none, the main reason I would skip it would be due to lack of money. And it’s not like the band is setting up in your dorm room. Gigs like this last a couple of hours, not all day. There will be plenty of other time to do your school things. That’s what sleep deprivation and coffee is for.

“These, Tom, are the Causeheads. They find a world-threatening issue and stick with it for about a week.” – PCU[imdb]

Fake fire

Faux FireI see this on TV every morning when Rebecca is heading off to work. Yes, it’s a DVD of a fake fireplace. Faux Fire[amazon]. This is nearly as stupid as those Head On commercials. I realize they show things like this during the holiday season, but are you serious? Do you really want to spend money on crap like this?

I say take that money and do something better with it.