Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday February 23, 2002
Asymptotic Analysis with CBC’s Brian Williams
If you have been watching the Olympics in the evenings these last few weeks — or if you have ever watched CBC’s telecast in your entire life — then you have probably become well acquainted with Brian Williams, master of the time zone, Mr. TimeAndDate himself. After spending quite some time practicing analyzing the runtime of algorithms while listening to Brian Williams relate the time in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Greenwich and Turin I was feeling a little timed out and last night finally went over the edge:
The nightmares came all last night in anticipation of today’s midterm, Brian Williams teaching algorithm runtime analysis. For every question, not only having to compute the runtime in Waterloo, but then translating that into Pacific, Central Standard, Greenwich Mean, and Mountain Standard times. Now, I know what you must be asking, what should be of more worry: dreaming about algorithmic analysis or about Brian Williams. Now, I’ll tell you my opinion. Given the choice, I’d want to dream about big-Oh over old Brian every day of the week. My peaceful night sleep can do without him telling me “there’s more to come”, and that he’ll have the runtime for me in a minute. Then giving me a disapproving look, while he leans forward and taps his pencil on the paper, telling me that in fact if the runtime is O(n) in Waterloo, then in Sydney it’s O(n-14h).
Can you imagine if after years with CBC sports Brian Williams deciding that he was in dire need of a career change and going into teaching. Although he would be good at consoling you after a failed test — having had much experience interviewing athletes after bitter defeat, asking uncomfortable questions and forcing them to relive the entire ordeal in detail — having to memorize the time conversions for every time zone and how they related to each asymptotic order would be worse than dreaming of nothing but Brian Williams for a year. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)