Re: These Winter Olympics

1

You know who sucks? NBC. You can't watch any of the full event replays online unless you have cable from one of their "partners". And the proxy feeds are unwatchably compressed. Which is my way of saying "what olympics?". Dammit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 7:53 AM
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And the proxy feeds are unwatchably compressed.

As is Bob Costas' paisley hanky.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:00 AM
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It would help, in watching the luge, if they could CGI a best-fit curve

Or superimpose footage of the current leader's run. They did this after the fact for downhill skiing a couple of times, and it was pretty neat.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:05 AM
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Ghost lugers, like in Mario Kart!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:23 AM
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Haha cheezy fake distressed fake bluejeans. Seriously, that looks like something sold at Baby Gap for toddler boys.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:32 AM
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YOUR POINT???


Posted by: OPINIONATED TODDLER | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:38 AM
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Chuck Norris made them wear the jeans.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:41 AM
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Wow, 5 is depressingly correct. Bring on the fake, America!

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Happy Birthday, Stanley. Happy Birthday, daughters. Happy Birthday, Kim Jong-Il.
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Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:43 AM
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6: My point? You're adorable! Yes, you are! Who's a handsome boy? You! Tickletickletickle!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:49 AM
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I like sports in general but, for some reason, I can't even fake interest in the Olympics, either Summer or Winter. They seem to light up the same places in my brain as NPR pledge drives.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:51 AM
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YOU ARE THE BABY SCHOOL SNOWBOARDERS AND I AM THE BIG LEAGUE CHEW.


Posted by: OPINIONATED FRANS RAYNER | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:07 AM
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5 is correct. Denim distressed by wear - hot. Distressed off the rack - poser!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:10 AM
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I love all of the unusual sports getting their moment in the spotlight.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:10 AM
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Happy birthday, baby Stanley! This is 24?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:11 AM
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13: I'm glad they get it, for the sake of the people who devote their lives to them. I don't have *negative* feelings toward the Olympics. Just indifference.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:18 AM
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Apo is unAmerican and supports the terrorists.
He probably doesnt wear a flag pin on his lapel either.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:26 AM
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I really like the fun of the scale of the games and the weird little sports; it's great entertainment. The 84 summer games were a highlight of my childhood. But I find it hard to care too much about who wins or loses, hate NBC's coverage, and find it a little weird that we're all supposed to care passionately about e.g. speedskating, but only once every four years.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:30 AM
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Curling starts this afternoon. Curling! The only sport I ever watch.

I have the affiliates but the schedule is complicated.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:31 AM
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I was in Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympics and that was pretty bitchin'. Of course it was also me, my mom and dad, and my aunt and uncle staying in the apartment above their garage because my aunt and uncle had rented their house to Ingemar Stenmark.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:33 AM
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Oh, I did watch the pairs last night, before I switched over to Coraline. I feel asleep halfway thru the movie, so even what I watched didn't make much sense.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:34 AM
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How many luge tracks are there in the world? Five?

Answer: fourteen?

or many more


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:35 AM
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My son and I went to the Olympics in Athens. We had a blast.
We have a picture with him and Tyler Hamilton (gold medal winner aka cheater).

Sadly, we missed beach volleyball.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:36 AM
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Thanks, Jesus McQ and Will (it's like 24 but plus 4 more).

Those Snowboarder uniforms look like something bought at Aéropostale.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:36 AM
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The best thing about obscure sports is that relatively normal people can compete and even win at them.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:36 AM
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Unfortunately, the US sucks at my favorite winter sport, the biathalon. Ski for a bit and then shoot some stuff -- awesome. I like sports that are good for training international superspies.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:37 AM
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25: The US got its first medal ever in Nordic Combined, though! I agree, however, that what makes the winter Olympics especially fun is that these folks really are amateurs in many cases.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:41 AM
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25: I can't believe the USofA hasn't come up with a version involving pickups and shotguns.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:42 AM
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27: They do that one in innertubes on the creek. You should see the uniforms for that.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:44 AM
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I can't believe the USofA hasn't come up with a version involving pickups and shotguns.

Please, it would involve snowmobiles. This is the winter Olympics after all.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:47 AM
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Please, it would involve snowmobiles.

I did watch a little of the X-Games freestyle snowmobile jumping competition. Those people are insane.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:57 AM
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I prefer "these Olympic Winter Games".


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:01 AM
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I was in Lake Placid for the 1980 Olympics and that was pretty bitchin'.

I was there, too, and it was, except for the transportation mess (IIRC, the bus drivers went on strike). There were super-long lines for what few buses the organizers could muster, it was bone-crunchingly cold and 11-year-old me thought it would be smart to wear sneakers, for some reason. Still, the thrill watching ski jumping close up outweighs the pain of near-frostbite.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:08 AM
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When is that event coming up where people just hurl themselves off a snow-covered cliff?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:09 AM
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No, wait, I was 15, which may help to explain my poor judgment.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:10 AM
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The best thing about obscure sports is that relatively normal people can compete and even win at them.

Maybe relatively normal people compared to the extreme distortions of professional football or olympic gymnastics. But the people I knew who were trying for the olympics in TKD were pretty distorted by it.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:10 AM
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Or how about Pairs Snowball Fighting? Or Synchronized Snow Angel Making?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:12 AM
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25: I am hoping the Summer Olympics will soon include escaping from a baroque and improbable killing machine.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:16 AM
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the people I knew who were trying for the olympics in TKD were pretty distorted by it

In a country of 300 million people, the top handful at pretty much anything are going to be pretty distorted.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:17 AM
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36: Or Passing Out Drunk in a Snowdrift. You'd get points for style, like figure skating.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:19 AM
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37: Competitive Men's Baroque And Improbable Killing Machine Evasion is actually the plot of the last three chapters of Doctor No. Really. Read it if you don't believe me. Finishes up with a giant squid.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:22 AM
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32: It was so cold! And they held the medal ceremonies on the lake -- I wonder if it still freezes so thoroughly that one can use it as a parking lot. I had a blast -- I still have my hat with the pins all over it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:24 AM
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39: The Finno-Russian rivalry in that discipline would become legendary. With the Scots occasionally snatching a dark horse medal.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:25 AM
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Yeah, all the Olympic hopefuls I was acquainted with (and I'm unsure how much of a "hope" any of them had) seemed to have lives that were taken over by their sports. This one dude in HS was apparently going to Lake Placid to speed skate all the time.

I'm googling the friend's little brother who was something like a top 5 junior snowboarder when we were in Junior High, was named to Junior Olympic blah blah, and who was therefore referred to at school as an Olympic Hopeful. Looks like he competed in World Cup such-and-such a few years back, but not much thereafter. I wonder how much he had invested in the Olympic Dream itself, and how much he is happy just being a really fucking good, even if not top whatever, snowboarder.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:32 AM
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40 - that's exactly what we need. Baroque and Improbable Killing Machine Designer is my dream job. I should build some to fill out my portfolio. Lots of big showy flames, the obligatory laser, buzz saws, and of course the ever-sexy tank full of sharks.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:39 AM
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Can't wait to see it at Burning Man.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:43 AM
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From the comments to the linked article:

That #### is ####! Totally inappropriate. The olympics represent the American people and especially the TAXPAYER who pays for it. NOT the snowboarding community. Tacky. Its a formal event. At least we can dress appropriately.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:44 AM
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I learned yesterday that I'm two degrees of separation away from the entire Bermuda 2010 Winter Olympics team. I'm told he's a nice guy.

Also, on the OP: wearing official Team USA pre-distressed Goretex pseudo-jeans is a bit like buying all your rebellious punk outfits at Hot Topic.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:45 AM
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The one Olympian I know, a Nordic skier who lived down the road from us in VT and competed in Lake Placid, is non-distorted. She's now a massage therapist in Portland; I gave my wife a gift certificate from her for Christmas.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:45 AM
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Its [sic] a formal event.

So, white tie and tails, then?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:46 AM
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44: Please. The last thing I need to see is Bob Costas blathering on faux-knowledgeably about how this Chinese team is among the world's best at escaping manacles, but don't count out those Latvians with their ability to withstand toxic fumes, or the Koreans with their superhuman courage in the presence of carnivorous animals.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:46 AM
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The best thing about obscure sports is that relatively normal people can compete and even win at them.

Meet Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards, Britain's only Olympic ski-jumper.

Another problem was that he was very short sighted, requiring him to wear his glasses at all times, even though when skiing they fogged to such an extent that he could not see. Eddie was informed of his qualification for the Games whilst working as a plasterer and residing temporarily in a Finnish mental hospital due to lack of funds for alternative accommodation (rather than as a patient)

He was so crap the IOC actually changed its eligibility rules so that he couldn't compete ever again.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:47 AM
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I'm googling the friend's little brother who was something like a top 5 junior snowboarder when we were in Junior High, was named to Junior Olympic blah blah, and who was therefore referred to at school as an Olympic Hopeful.

I often hear similar comments about various young athletes. "He [or she] will be in the Olympics one day!"

Don't put that kind of pressure on a kid. I know lots of people who were amazing swimmers at 13, and out of the sport by 16.

I lived and breathed swimming. (16,000 meters a day wasnt uncommon.) My goal was to make Olympic trials. (I didnt.) I dont regret all the time in the sport. I enjoyed it tremendously.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:51 AM
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I didn't realize until recently that the name "Eric the Eel" was created by the media as a response to an "Eddie the Eagle".

In the US a different athlete is "Eddie the Eagle".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:52 AM
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Botswana's entry into the 1988 Olympic sailing event was a family friend. He beat the Egyptian competitor, which is impressive since as my sister pointed out "They have a bigger dam than we do."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:54 AM
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The faux-grunge snowboarder look suggests new product tie-ins. Pabst Blue Ribbon: official hipster beer of the Winter Olympics. That guy I know whose cousin lives in Humboldt County: official pot supplier of the Winter Olympics.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:56 AM
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Wasnt there some peer pressure from snowboarders to keep uniforms in a style that is marketable? They were resisting the sleek uniforms in favor of a look that sells clothes.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 10:57 AM
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I DON'T LIKE THE SNOWBOARD UNIFORMS. IN MY DAY, BEFORE SNOWBOARDS WErE INVENTED, SNOWBOARDERS DRESSED IN A LADYLIKE FASHION. AS A TAXPAYER I DEMAND MUCH MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE-LOOKING SNOWBOARD UNIFORMS. AS THE GREAT ZIEGFELD SAID.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:01 AM
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Its gotta be tough to be trying to get to the Olympics as an American. The #5 Junior Snowboarder in the USA would have much better luck getting to the games if he were instead from a small country, such as, say, Andorra.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:01 AM
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That's why that internet spyware tycoon decided to compete for Australia. But why Australia, and not the Cayman Islands?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:03 AM
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I do kinda respect snowboarders for apparently not giving a shit about aerodynamics.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:03 AM
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60:

They dont care about aerodynamics bc they want to make money.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:05 AM
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61 is a priority I can respect.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:06 AM
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Passing Out Drunk in a Snowdrift

Should this be counted as say 3/5 of a suicide in a country's mortality stats?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:08 AM
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Aerospace engineers, meanwhile, have to care about aerodynamics in order to make money.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:08 AM
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The fact that Olympic snowboarders get laid so much more than aerospace engineers must mean that aerodynamics is not actually that important.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:16 AM
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The #5 Junior Snowboarder in the USA would have much better luck getting to the games if he were instead from a small country, such as, say, Andorra.

The lesson here is to pick your small country carefully. Some announcer said the other night that athletes from Liechtenstein, pop. 36,000, have won nine medals in alpine skiing over the years. The #5 Junior alpine skier in the U.S. might face some competition there (although I don't think Liecht. has won much lately).


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:27 AM
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OH YEAH, WELL YOU JUST HAVE FUN TAKING THE TRAIN TO VANCOUVER, THEN.


Posted by: OPINIONATED AEROSPACE ENGINEER | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:33 AM
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IMX aerospace engineers get laid more than any other species of engineer. Unless you count financial engineers.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:36 AM
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You have experience comparing the laid-getting of engineers by discipline?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:41 AM
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...And whatever kind of engineer Megan is.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:42 AM
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68:

Dolphin style.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:43 AM
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Liechtenstein is an alpine nation. They have an unfair advantage in alpine skiing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:44 AM
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Ag engineers? Well, the groupies throw themselves at us, but I got jaded after the first couple years. Well, four or five years.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:46 AM
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69: limited data set, but the hierarchy goes roughly software, chemical, electrical, industrial, civil, nuclear, agricultural, mechanical, marine, aerospace.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:48 AM
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69: limited data set, but the hierarchy goes roughly software

D'oh!


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:50 AM
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Marine engineers are getting more than me?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:51 AM
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68 confirms my belief that I should have switched into Aerospace Engineering when my PhD advisor decided to leave the university.

OTOH, one of the pleasant discoveries I've made on returning to the meat market after a 16 year hiatus is that the relative desirability of geeks and jocks appears to have switched in my favor.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:53 AM
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I would think nuclear engineers would get laid quite a bit. I mean, what's sexier than harnessing the awesome power of the atom?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:55 AM
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what's sexier than harnessing the awesome power of the atom?

Building rockets and Olympic snowboarding.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:56 AM
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Marine engineers are getting more than me?

Statistically speaking, yes. But you could be an outlier. Or you could *become* an outlier, IYKWIMAITYD.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:57 AM
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I suppose it was cold out there for the NEs for awhile after The China Syndrome and Three Mile Island, though.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:00 PM
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I'm a love engineer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:01 PM
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I'm a reverse engineer.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:02 PM
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Marine engineers are getting more than me?

Yes, there's thousands of them and only one of you.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:02 PM
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Megan, clone thyself!


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:07 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:09 PM
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CA is currently yelling things like "Peckerheads!" at the German curlers.
(He has also called me "Racist!" for not taking to curling as he has.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:09 PM
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Marine engineers spend all that time out at sea and in close quarters. Sex is bound to happen.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:09 PM
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oudemia is too busy watching Jersey Shore.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:11 PM
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88: Speaking of which, perhaps snowboarders should be forced to wear tight quarters instead of their current getup.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:17 PM
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My baby thinks he's a train engineer.


Posted by: Rosanna Cash | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:18 PM
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Further to 74, I forgot mine engineers, who get more than all other engineers combined, but only because of Third World prostitutes.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:25 PM
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You could make little valentines that say "Be Mine Engineers". Red construction paper glued onto a heart-shaped doily, please.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:31 PM
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||

I'm currently on a bus listening to a current Cornell student telling a prospective student that Ithaca is "not like New York, but still a major city." Resisting the urge to say 'wtf?'.

|>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:36 PM
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91: Rosann*a*?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:38 PM
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94: He means that lots of people have majors, there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:39 PM
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95: Whoopsa.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:40 PM
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Someone has edited the curling wiki entry to say that Scots originally played the game with dead squirrels rather than stones.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:42 PM
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Is there going to be some prime-time curling, or do I have to take a day off work to get my fix?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 12:59 PM
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99: My understanding is that there is more curling tonight, when the US plays Norway.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:02 PM
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*sigh*


Posted by: Kobe | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:03 PM
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I forgot mine engineers, who get more than all other engineers combined, but only because of Third World prostitutes.

I'd think petroleum engineers might be in the running due to that as well.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:06 PM
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My understanding is that there is more curling tonight

You've found a hairdresser who stays open late?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:10 PM
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I like sports in general but, for some reason, I can't even fake interest in the Olympics, either Summer or Winter. They seem to light up the same places in my brain as NPR pledge drives.

I feel that way about football.

I can get jazzed about downhill skiing; there I can really see/feel the pursuit of excellence in action, and am excited both on behalf of the athletes, and in the witnessing of excellence. Sports, or athleticism in general, is supposed to be about that, right? The pursuit of excellence.

I can't see what's excellent about one play or another in football or baseball (barring the occasional amazing thing), though I can see it -- in action -- in basketball. Otherwise I really need tennis or skiing or some other individual sport (not golf) in order to appreciate.

Just musing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:10 PM
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103: I'll have you know my hair is naturally curling, OFE.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:11 PM
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I feel that way about football.

It took me a long time to be able to follow what was happening enough to enjoy watching football.

The weird thing is that I grew up playing football a lot, and I like playing football, and I know the basic game well at a schoolyard level. But being in the thick of it is different from being about to watch others go at it. (Who's could possibly take that sentence out of context?)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:15 PM
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Who could possibly take that sentence out of context?

Di Kotimy.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 1:26 PM
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I can't see what's excellent about one play or another in football

Football is insanely complicated. The 2009 rule book is 295 pages.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:06 PM
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Football is insanely complicated.

I'm forcibly reminded of this every time I watch a game with ms bill, who constantly goes back to first principles: "Why don't teams punt on second down if they're really bad?"; "Why do some legal blocks look like holds?"; "Where is a cornerback's corner?"


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:18 PM
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109 was me.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:18 PM
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108: And they keep moving the goalposts!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:21 PM
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94.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would have never set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.


Posted by: C P Cavafy | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:30 PM
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"Where is a cornerback's corner?"

I like this. People get mad if you ask something like that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:30 PM
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Would two quarterbacks and a halfback be just as good as a fullback? If so, why wouldn't you just staff your entire roster with fullbacks?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:40 PM
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108 is why I don't watch football. That and the absurd overspecialization. It's really a lousy game, despite the extraordinary athleticism.

Also


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:40 PM
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Haha cheezy fake distressed fake bluejeans. Seriously, that looks like something sold at Baby Gap for toddler boys.

Saw Burton Shank Goretex denim boarders' pants (for men) on sale for a bargain $224.98 at DogFunk


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:40 PM
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High above Cayuga's waters
There's an awful smell


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:42 PM
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108 is why I don't watch football.

Too dim to understand it, eh?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:44 PM
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It's really a lousy game

I disagree with this (of course). It's a great game; it's just that it's much more a coach's game than a player's game. For all the size and brutality, it's actually the most cerebral of all the major American sports.

Handegg is funny.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:46 PM
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119 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:49 PM
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118: Reading the rulebook requires adequate lighting, it's true.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:52 PM
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121: Stadiums tend to have good lighting. Just saying.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:54 PM
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119 is totally right, but (a) coverage of football makes it so hard to figure out what's actually going on and (b) the sport is so complicated that figuring out what is really happening takes knowledge and expertise that are really so far beyond the average fan that it's always baffled me that American football is as popular as it is. I like watching it, but much less than basketball or baseball because it's harder to figure out what's happening on the field and why. I mean, I've watched football in some form or another for almost 30 years and I still have only the vaguest notion of what, say, "cover 4" is. But most of the huge audience for the NFL doesn't seem to mind.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 2:59 PM
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Yep, the complexity of football is exactly why I favor it as a spectator sport. There's always more to learn, more corner cases to understand. And there are typically many different actions a team can take when in any given situation, which leads to ample debate fodder for the viewing public. And then the game stops while people argue about whether the receiver had possession of the ball before his right foot stepped out of bounds. Great stuff.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:01 PM
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it's actually the most cerebral hemorrhage-inducing of all the major American sports

Fixed.

Pitchers and catchers report for spring training this week. Not coincidentally, life is returning to the bare, frigid earth.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:05 PM
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I still have only the vaguest notion of what, say, "cover 4" is. But most of the huge audience for the NFL doesn't seem to mind.

I'm in that cohort. I do think that there's nothing completely new under the sun in football. I mean, when I was a little kid they called a blitz a "red dog." And over the holidays a nephew was talking about the Wildcat offense and my dad (now bedridden; sleeps most days) woke up and said "Looks like the single-wing to me..."

Football may be complicated, but cricket is really hard for me to grasp.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:09 PM
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My problem with football is that all the players look the same with their helmets on. I think it would be a much more interesting game if they took off the helmets.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:09 PM
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I've never been able to muster up interest in American football, Ijust find it boring. Soccer occasionally, but rarely. Baseball - on tv with a book lying on a couch to counteract the langeurs, yes. Skiing also yes, yes, yes, though my favorite is slalom, perhaps because I like to ski making rapid tight turns myself, not at that level of course. Plus it's the most technical of the alpine skiing disciplines. Skijumping - got caught up in the Malysz obsession at the start of the decade, but it does get pretty repetitive. I also like figure skating a lot, if I only watch it infrequently. Not that I'm watching anything in these Olympics. No cable, online coverage sucks, oh well. Sports are the thing I miss the most about not having cable, but it's just not worth the ridiculous amount of money they charge.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:10 PM
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I don't even care / to watch these winter olympics.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:12 PM
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124: I love the way football stops between plays. Everyone watching gets to think about what might or should happen next, which for me adds to the cerebralness of it, not to mention the suspense. I don't really enjoy watching basketball because there are so few pauses to think about what's happening. Soccer's better because the field is so large that I can actually see plays develop.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:13 PM
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Pitchers and Catchers is one of my favorite days of the year.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:13 PM
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Oh yeah, my favorite couch potato sport - basketball. At it's best its like watching an improvisational ballet. Pro of course - why watch AA when you have the major leagues. The popularity of college basketball is proof in my mind that the lack of interest in the WNBA is primarily sexist. All those complaints about lack of skills relative to the men's game - all true, but the same applies to the NCAA.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:13 PM
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Soccer's better because the field is so large that I can actually see plays develop.

See, I think the large field is a major problem with soccer. I would like it a lot more if they shrunk the field down to, say, 1/3 of the size, which would give the teams a chance to score goals from time to time.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:16 PM
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I would like it a lot more if they shrunk the field down to, say, 1/3 of the size, which would give the teams a chance to score goals from time to time.

You should either:
1. find mini players and mini trees and create a whole world on a 1/3 scale

or
2. watch indoor soccer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:19 PM
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2. watch indoor soccer futsal.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:22 PM
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At the soccer practices I've been attending we've used futsol balls from time to time and they feel pretty different. They just don't move, so you keep tripping over them if you expect them to move along. Until then I'd never heard of futsol.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:26 PM
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You can do some pretty amazing things with a futsal ball.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:35 PM
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I don't really enjoy watching basketball because there are so few pauses to think about what's happening.

This is such a strange approach to watching sports. I want to see athletes compete, not referees confer.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:45 PM
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BTW, going waaay back, the Olympics are the only sports that AB gives even the tiniest bit of a shit about, and for the Winter, at least, we are glued to the TV. We have watched every hour of evening coverage so far. This is so far out of Iris' experience that I'm not sure how she's handling it (well, last night she utterly broke down when sent to bed, but that's NBC's fault for airing exactly one pair of skaters before 10 pm; we're bad parents willing to sacrifice our daughter's sleep for sport, but we're not monsters).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:46 PM
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131: Me too.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:46 PM
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I want to see athletes compete, not referees confer.

One of the truly great and hypnotic things about watching soccer.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 3:55 PM
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I've watched football in some form or another for almost 30 years and I still have only the vaguest notion of what, say, "cover 4" is. But most of the huge audience for the NFL doesn't seem to mind.

I think it would be virtually impossible to read coverages from the view of the field that is presented on your television. For instance, you never really get to see what a cornerback is doing until the ball gets thrown towards him. Even from a better view, it's really hard -- some NFL quarterbacks can't do it!

The audience is given a narrative by the announcers that constitutes about 25% of what is actually going on, and are pretty happy with it. And so the Steelers win because their defense hits hard or something. It's no wonder that we Americans like it -- our national policy decisions are made the same way.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 4:23 PM
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142: This is why I no longer watch football: the cameramen practically follow the ball. I wonder if televised football norms developed before HD.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 4:44 PM
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I wonder if televised football norms developed before HD.

It has little to do with HD. "Televised football norms" developed when the game was much less complicated and when viewers -- as they do now as well -- desired to see the players up close. I don't propose a solution, just get used to the fact that you don't really know what's going on when you watch a game.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 4:50 PM
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Then they imported that TV-style to baseball. Especially Fox. Ptui.

A late relative was a sportswriter. Watching televised NFL games with him was fun. A flag would come flying in from off-screen and he'd almost always say what the call was before the replay came on. But he had watched tons of games and could fill in the blanks.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:26 PM
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|| Uh, Olympics are Greek, just like Greek mythology... So... Question from Rory: If Athena is Zeus' daughter, and Poseidon is Zeus' brother, what is the relationship between Athena's daughter and Poseidon's son? (That is, can Athena's daughter and Poseidon's son respectably hook up?) |>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:31 PM
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Uh, 146 = me. Obviously...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:33 PM
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They're cousins once removed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:36 PM
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In Greek mythology? Sure they can. In real life? He'd be her first cousin once removed. Just plain first cousins were perfectly respectable marriage partners in the US and England until about a hundred years ago when the eugenics movement got started, so I wouldn't worry about.

And assuming this is about Annabeth (take out AB, and do the anagram) and Percy, I can ask Sally if the books went there -- she's finished the series.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:39 PM
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Sorry, the anagram works if you take out NB, not AB.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:40 PM
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146: Not sure I've seen "respectably" and "hooked up" in a sentence before.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:43 PM
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Athena, being a perpetual virgin, has no child. Solved!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:47 PM
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149: Rory's on Book 3, and presumably that is the source of the question, yes. Google has scandalized my poor kid with the revelation that Eros was the child of Aphrodite and Ares, even though Aphrodite was married to Haephestus.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 5:49 PM
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152: That seems consistent with being the Goddess of Wisdom. But inconsistent with the book in question!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 6:04 PM
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This is why I no longer watch football: the cameramen practically follow the ball.

Quite possibly the very stupidest thing in the world, and a true indicator of the times we live in, is a camera shot of a baseball or golf ball all alone against the background of a blue sky.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 6:09 PM
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And then the game stops while people argue about whether the receiver had possession of the ball before his right foot stepped out of bounds. Great stuff.

Surely this is sarcasm.

There's a 1950s Peanuts in which Charlie Brown and Schroeder are playing cowboy and indian, with S constantly shooting CB and CB insisting that he missed. Patty observes, "You really must like playing cowboys and indians, CB." "I can't stand the game; it's the arguing that I like."

I like football well enough, but I'm under no illusion that it's a better game than baseball, hockey, or rugby, and the current NFL ruleset is pretty absurd.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 6:17 PM
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153 is very funny to me. I know it's obnoxious to talk about my precocious daughter's precocity, but let's just say that Olympian naughtiness is old news around here....

To tie things together a bit, Iris was completely taken by Apolo Ohno's "crafty"* technique for winning his races.

* or, I should say, polumetis


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 6:21 PM
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"Maybe they had an open marriage?" earned me a confused, then dirty look.

Rory's in love with Apolo Ohno. Although, she's declared him too old for her. But not too young for me...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 6:28 PM
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This is such a strange approach to watching sports. I want to see athletes compete, not referees confer.

This makes no sense to me. I don't see how football entails any less competition between athletes than say, soccer. I enjoy watching soccer, but I'm pretty sure the average football game offers far more instances of incredible athletic display than soccer.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 7:32 PM
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Canada 8 Norway 0


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 7:47 PM
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This makes no sense to me. I don't see how football entails any less competition between athletes than say, soccer.

Go way back into the archives and you may find a defense of that idea.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 7:49 PM
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158: You can tell Rory that Zeus rather unjustly forced Aphrodite to marry Hephaistos, because, when she first showed up, all the men folk flipped out and starting fighting over her. To settle everyone down, Zeus just gave her to H. (the ugly, boring one).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 7:55 PM
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(the ugly, boring one)

He was always my favorite.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 7:59 PM
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OK, so I just have the Olympics on in the background and wasn't really paying attention, but I just heard something like "he's a descendant of Nobunaga Oda, who was known for being a great warlord and the subject of a Nintendo video game". Seriously, Mr Sports Commentator dude? You can say these things with a straight face?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:05 PM
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164: Heh. We were just cracking up about that. CA's judgment: "He was lamer than the Swiss dude."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 8:07 PM
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161: The vast majority of any soccer game isn't much action either though.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:12 PM
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Jonny Weir, of whom I am not really a fan, was kind of robbed in the short program.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 9:18 PM
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Surfing the vast cableverse I come across the Sundance series on Johnny Weir and I watch a couple episodes having never heard of him and having very little interest in figure skating,

After twenty minutes, I am a fan. What's not to like?

Intelligent, open, honest, quirky, funny. Cute, sexy. Extrovert is in the job description.

(Damn women's curling on at 2 AM. I won't make it.)


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02-16-10 11:39 PM
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which would give the teams a chance to score goals from time to time.

I've never understood the view that sports are only worth watching when people are scoring points all the time. What's not to like about manoeuvring, positioning, strategy?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 1:13 AM
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re: 169

Indeed. In fact, I'd probably support the contrary view. If scoring is too easy it ceases to be as exciting or interesting. Sport should be difficult, dammit.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 3:59 AM
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170: I don't think cricket's uninteresting because people score all the time; the drama comes when someone gets dismissed, which is rare. (Contra baseball, where runs are hard and dismissals are frequent.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 5:07 AM
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re: 171

Yeah, I tend to think of cricket a bit differently. It's not individual runs that really matter, but patterns and the ebb and flow of the game.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 5:34 AM
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163: of course he's your favorite; he makes robots! (Really! In the shield scene in the Iliad it talks about H's helpers, who are "automata" he's made.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 6:03 AM
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In case it's unclear, these are the books all the tweens are reading.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 6:11 AM
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174. Are they any good? I have a nephew, rather advanced eight year old, who regularly runs out of stuff to be read to out of. Might do for Xmas.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 6:25 AM
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173: that rules. And he lived in a volcano! I think I liked him because I felt like he wasn't a giant dick all the time like the rest of 'em. He just kinda did his thing and tried not to let Ares piss him off too bad. The god-mensch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 6:33 AM
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Haephestus is my favorite god. Not only does he make awesome shit like that mechanical owl, he's also banging the hottest goddess. Plus, if I remember correctly, he never pulls sleazy shit like turning into a swan to get some sultry poultryphiliac knocked up.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:06 AM
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162: That just might work. She was quite sympathetic of the movie's treatment of Persephone and her many lovers, what with the being forced to marry Hades thing.

174: haven't read them yet myself, but Rory has had one in her hands at all times since starting the first and even decided to give up TV for Lent now that she needs to focus on reading.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:10 AM
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He just kinda did his thing and tried not to let Ares piss him off too bad.

I don't know. The net trick, while excellent, suggests a certain level of annoyance.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:18 AM
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179: well, sure. Ares was pretty good at pissing people off, after all. But the net trick: so great! It's such a nerd revenge move.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:23 AM
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177: he and Athene would have been so happy together. It's a damn shame they never hooked up.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:33 AM
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181. He tried. There are scholars who infer an extremely unpleasant original version of that one.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:42 AM
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182: oh, hell, of course. The legend of Erichthonius. I take it back - they wouldn't have been happy at all.

(Classical education FAIL)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 7:45 AM
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I don't think cricket's uninteresting because people score all the time; the drama comes when someone gets dismissed, which is rare.

Some would argue that the scoring that's important in cricket is the dismissals. Runs are what happens in between wickets.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 8:21 AM
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Iris has a soft spot for Hephaistos, largely due to an illustration that showed him as a baby plummeting down from Olympos. That was the first story after Medusa that she asked for over and over. That's also why she loves Thetis so much (she catches him when he lands in the sea) - I'm not sure she quite realizes that Thetis is a second- (or even third-) tier goddess.

Oh, and she hates Ares - whenever he comes up, she's sure to mention what a jerk he is, and how all the other gods hate him.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 8:59 AM
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I'm sure I've asked before, but what text of mythology do you and Iris read?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 9:20 AM
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The god of war sort of has to be a jerk, doesn't he?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 11:26 AM
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So Fleur wants to go out and buy a tv to watch the olympics. My "I don't even own a tv" cred is under threat!

I should remind her that the last time she felt the need to go out and buy a tv, it was in order to watch the election returns in 2000. And we all remember how well THAT turned out.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 2:11 PM
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188: I know. Very sad. Nader didn't win!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 2:14 PM
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188: Oh good lord, man. Buy a damn TV already!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:13 PM
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188: I just solved this problem! I bought a usb TV tuner for my laptop. Limited, manageable TV watching achieved without actually buying a TV!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:14 PM
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188: Huh. I didn't realize that you didn't have a TV at all. We keep ours tucked away upstairs, safely out of sight of guests (in truth, keeping it up there does reduce temptation to zone out in front of it for an hour or two, which was common behavior for us before the kids came along).

187: The Romans didn't think so.

186: I don't love any compilation I've ever seen, so we tend to have single-story books (which by now would be too young for Rory, I think). This thread covers a lot of ground, and refers back to a previous thread that I can't find, in which I included Amazon links to preferred books.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:17 PM
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Mars wasn't a jerk?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:20 PM
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Also, Fleur (if you are reading...), don't listen to Knecht! TV is awesome!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:21 PM
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191: I thought of that when the digital transition came, but the bottom line is that, sometimes, the kids watch the TV, and I'm not quite ready to buy them their own laptops.

Incidentally, Iris & I enjoyed the hell out of that PBS carpentry show where the guy only uses non-power tools. He was replicating a little Shaker side table, and it had curved legs (a bit like this one, but fixed tabletop), and she asked about them - turns out we don't own a single piece of furniture with old-fashioned curving lines. What's really odd about that is that we only own ~3 pieces of furniture that we bought new - everything else is hand-me-down, or came with the house, or was found on the curb. I guess we're pretty firm in our tastes.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:23 PM
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192: Found it.

193: Not particularly - to the Romans he was also an agricultural god, and they didn't view him as especially bloodthirsty or cowardly. The Ares of Homer and Hesiod was despicable, and hated by his fellow gods; I don't think the Romans portrayed him like that (I could be wrong, of course).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 4:26 PM
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Can the NBC commentators please stop referring to the women skiers as "the girls"?* K thx.

*Yes, I realize that I refer to myself as a girl on occasion, but self-description is a different thing, I think.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 10:13 PM
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195.1: I have also (potentially) solved this problem: we have a projector with a screen that rolls up. Also, we have no kids. We've covered all the angles!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 10:15 PM
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197: I was just thinking the same thing.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 10:15 PM
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Perhaps I am being unreasonable, but I could also deal with not hearing the male commentator exclaim about how tough these skiers are, in a very special tone of voice. "Those girls! They can hit the snow face first at 70 miles per hour and still get up!" Yes, it's amazing, but, um, it's what they do! I haven't watched any of the male skiing yet, though, so maybe this is just normal talk.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 10:28 PM
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We make her paint her face and dance.


Posted by: Johnny | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 10:46 PM
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Can the NBC commentators please stop referring to the women skiers as "the girls"?*

I'm glad all my Olympics-watching tonight was at a bar where the TV sound was turned off.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 11:42 PM
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Though I did overhear someone describing a portion of the figure skating: "I could watch three guys blowing ten guys and it wouldn't be as gay as that". Which made me wonder: is the relative ordering of gayness of n guys blowing m guys a solved problem, for all positive integer pairs (n, m)?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-17-10 11:59 PM
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203: You need to factor in whether any are on rollerblades.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 12:11 AM
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196.2. Also my reading. Ares was a god of bloodlust. Mars was a god of ploughing who originally took on the war portfolio in his spare time (how did that happen - ploughshares into swords?). Of course his martial attributes got more important as Rome became a more important military power - pretty damn important by the times we learn about in school.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 1:01 AM
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Don't forget, of course, that the Greeks split the war portfolio: Athene was the goddess of war as fought in a sneaky, ingenious way, rather than war as fought in an Ares-like CHARGE KILL HACK MAIM way.

I'd forgotten that Thetis catches Hephaistos. That explains why Hephaistos is ready to re-equip Thetis' son in the Iliad - Achilles is almost like his foster-brother.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 2:48 AM
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206: Fagles suggests that Homer invented the Hephaistos-catching story for precisely that reason - I guess it's otherwise unattested. But I have no idea whether Fagles' take is widely-held.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:13 AM
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What was the deal with Bellona? Was she the long-time war goddess who got (partly) supplanted by Mars, or was she always not-major?

IIRC, Minerva also had a very different character pre-Hellenization - she was not especially Athene-like, but was close enough when the Romans decided to adapt their pantheon to the Olympian one.

If only there were a commenter here who could give us better-informed answers!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:19 AM
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Bellona was always pretty non-major who didn't even get her temple in Rome until way late. Ajay is right about the distinction between Ares and Athena -- but Athena isn't about just cunning-over-smashing, she's also about protecting the city. Greek Ares is about destabilizing cities, but to the Romans Mars is a founding father, and the Romans slapped statues of him in the middle of marketplaces, while the Greeks never ever would.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:35 AM
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Bellona was always pretty non-major who didn't even get her temple in Rome until way late.

There was some unpleasantness when she went clubbing, I believe. Turned people off her.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:47 AM
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Come to think of it, the Hephaistos-catching story isn't very likely. He's supposed to be lame because he hit Lemnos and broke his legs. No one caught him at all.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 9:33 AM
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211: But there's also 2 completely different stories about his fall: he was tossed out as a newborn by Hera because he was ugly (and lame?) or he was tossed out as a non-baby by Zeus because he released Hera from the golden chain.

The Greeks needed some sort of blue ribbon panel to sort out these inconsistencies.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 9:39 AM
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There are lots of stories! They will never be reconciled! Lots of what is going on in the Iliad and the Odyssey is highlighting some narratives and suppressing others. (I mean, Agamemnon offers Achilles his daughter Iphigeneia in marriage if he'll come back and fight.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 9:44 AM
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I tried to take an online class on the classics once, but the teacher was too harsh.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 9:47 AM
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213: yes, but what about the historical Hephaestus?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 9:53 AM
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215: Shhhh. We didn't induct you into the rites of Cybele for nothing, Tweety.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 9:56 AM
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The historical Hephaestus was a marginal god, one of many apocalyptic blacksmiths.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:00 AM
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We didn't induct you into the rites of Cybele for nothing, Tweety.

devolsitne ili acuto sibi pondera silice?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:01 AM
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(I mean, Agamemnon offers Achilles his daughter Iphigeneia in marriage if he'll come back and fight.)

I think Achilles was pretty justified in his opinion of Agamemnon's good faith.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:02 AM
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BTW, did anyone ever say to the OP that Heebie's idea about the best-fit line is great? Because it totally is. I mean, I like when they overlay riders (and wish they did it more), but the best-fit line as omnipresent would be awesome.

In general, I've been disappointed in NBC's lack of explanation - we watch these sports every 4 years, guys, so how about a little refresher? Watching the pairs' short program, I didn't even know what the scoring scale was (actually, I still don't; based on the men, I guess 100? None of the pairs came close to that). I don't actually mind the puff-pieces (I feel like they're fewer than in past years, but could be wrong), but I wish they'd explain shit (or at least point to better explanations at their website).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:06 AM
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None of the pairs came close to that

Of course. All the good skaters skate solo.

Did you know that in Snowboardcross, the key is to get ahead of everyone else and stay there?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:10 AM
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Except sometimes, such as when you're out in front, when putting a lot of distance between yourself and the others is paramount.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:11 AM
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I'm not a perennial also-ran. In fact, I dominate the second transfer position.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:17 AM
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221: I seem to remember "gap shots" being important.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:25 AM
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225

Well, maybe for those sports, but as well all know, in the board halfpipe, you gotta go into the eye of the tiger with massive insanity.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:26 AM
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Every four years, Scott Hamilton assesses someone's best strength as being her lack of weaknesses. I want him to stop.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:30 AM
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226: I really don't have a problem with that assessment. I suppose it's subject to triteness, but still - when I hear them say that World Class Skater X isn't very good at Critical Skill 3, I'm always a bit surprised.

225 was ridiculous.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:38 AM
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Yeah, upon reflection, the HBSIHLOW comment isn't actually ridiculous, however much it sounds that way.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:45 AM
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I love that Shaun White had a secret private half-pipe on which to prepare for this Olympics. I've started calling it The Fortress of Altitude.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 10:56 AM
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229: Honest to god, that seems like a joke. I mean - really? A mountaintop lair, accessible only by corporate-branded helicopter?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 11:00 AM
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230: He's boarding on his own private pile of snow.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 12:58 PM
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231: Am I missing a pun?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 2:17 PM
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OK, I guess if I work the Fred voice, I can make it work.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 2:17 PM
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Bleg for all the classicists out there, what Homer translation would you recommend?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 6:16 PM
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I think I'm going to have to stop watching the figure skating. I just can't stand watching them stumble and fall over that triple axle. It doesn't really bother me, or make me cringe, when a snowboarder wipes out, but when a skater falls I just want to rewind the tape and give him another chance to do it all over.

(Oh well. All I really care about is the hockey anyway).


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:37 PM
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All I really care about is the hockey anyway

You're rooting for Slovenia, I take it?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:45 PM
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The thing that strikes me about the figure skaters is that they, by and large, have terrible taste in music.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 8:53 PM
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Am I missing a pun?

Not a pun, really. But see here.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-18-10 11:11 PM
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The thing that strikes me about the figure skaters is that they, by and large, have terrible taste in music.

To be fair, one of them had a dance remix of The Phantom of the—oh. I see what you mean.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 7:05 AM
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Why don't they ever skate to Ligeti, that's what I want to know. Or some nice Hermann Nitsch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 7:09 AM
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Diamanda Galas.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 7:42 AM
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Bleg for all the classicists out there, what Homer translation would you recommend?

IANAC, but Fagles or Fitzgerald. But I know oud doesn't care for Fagles (who can be a bit prosaic, whereas Fitz can be a bit overpoetic). Personally, Lattimore (sometimes considered the first of the modern translators of Homer) leaves me cold.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:25 AM
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re: 230

Yes, with a specially built foam pit so he could practice otherwise deadly moves until they were safe to try on a real half-pipe. They built it by dropping explosives from helicopters and then excavating the compacted snow.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:27 AM
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238: Yeah, that's what 233 meant.

I was intrigued by the skaters' use of "Whammer Jammer", "Day in the Life", and a pretty decent interpretation of "Bold as Love". In the free skate last night, the Brazilian/French guy I thought was actually well-choreographed to not-awful remixed/house/electronic/club/whatever music.

IOW, I see baby steps happening.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:29 AM
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243: what about grooming? I mean, surely that site gets snow on a regular basis. It just blows my mind.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:32 AM
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Bleg for all the classicists out there, what Homer translation would you recommend?

You could try Chapman. Haven't read it myself, but I'm told it makes you feel like some watcher of the skies when a new planet swims into his ken, which sounds pretty cool.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:32 AM
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re: 245

His sponsors spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on it. At least one person has been badly injured trying to repeat one of the tricks he perfected there.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:34 AM
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246:If I want to feel like some fat Spaniard on a beach, I stick with Houellebecz.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:36 AM
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zq


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:37 AM
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zq
switching between qwerty/azerty keyboards frequently is maddening. Do blackberries have both keymappings? How does that work in devanagari or arabic anyway?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 9:53 AM
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They built it by dropping explosives from helicopters and then excavating the compacted snow.

Good God. This is, if true, kind of insane. Is this true?!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-19-10 2:10 PM
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At the Gap? Never.
But how is "tha Illimitable" [!!]?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Etset [SOCIALIST MORALIST ALERT - J.C.].
http://www.rhapsody.com/goto?rcid=tra.15241367
Anyhow....


Posted by: Jeffrey Rubard | Link to this comment | 02-20-10 11:06 AM
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Jeff, remember how you were going away? That was nice.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02-20-10 11:09 AM
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