Monday, October 18, 2010

Two Minor Gripes

Often when I work out at work I watch the TVs. At 7am, SportsCenter is always on, and I can sometimes tune a second TV to something interesting (this morning it was a Mountain Dew BMX competition).

SportsCenter tends to only focus on basketball, football, baseball and hockey - which is a bit of a drag - but it's entertaining enough to watch while I listen to tunes or podcasts. However, they occasionally do this bit where some dude stands up in front of a HUGE flatscreen (seriously 6 feet wide) to do some detailed analysis of (generally) a football play. He taps on a "button" on the side (it's just a part of the screen), and then taps on some players, dragging arrows around and the such. It's sort of a higher-tech version of Dave Madden's telestrator. That's all well and good, but what annoys me is that SportsCenter is showing the guy doing all the clicking, and the screen is at an angle to the camera. I don't need to see the dude pressing buttons, I don't really care that they've got a 6' wide flatscreen, what I do know is that I'm watching a HD TV and they're showing me a picture of a picture - which totally ruins the experience. Why?

One of the commercials during the BMX show (oddly) was for a motor oil. If you've ever worked with motor oil (and, no, I've not changed the oil in a car, however I've driven two cars that need regular oil infusions) you know that the shape of the bottle is such that the spout is not in the center of the bottle, but is lined up on one of the sides. Why is this? It is so that when you pour, you can pour with the spout on the top and avoid the dreaded glug.

Ok, it's long lead up to a little gripe - I did some googling, and perhaps people don't know how to properly pour motor oil. If you don't - take a look at the shape of the bottle. Note that the spout is commonly on one of the sides. When you pour the oil, you pour
with the spout on the top and the "belly" of the bottle down. This allows air to enter at the same time as oil is leaving. This technique enables you to pour the oil smoothly - no glugs.

So, what's the gripe? The commercials always show the people pouring oil the wrong way. This usually comes in the form of some animation showing the bottle being poured the wrong way - but glug free - which is physically impossible. Today's commercial showed actual video of a guy pouring the oil (the wrong way), which he was doing super slowly and it was still glugging. I don't know who makes the directing decisions and why they constantly make the wrong choice, but it's more than a little irritating. I've yet to see a commercial that does it right. Perhaps all the hand models are right-handed (because the label is usually on the side such that if you pour it right-handed with the label showing the bottle is the wrong way. If they just switched to left-handed actors it'd work (or you could even flip the video if you want the look of a right-hander).

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