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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Let's Get Tangential, Tangential 

Starting here:

Kiira Korpi's Musical Choices

The heffa skated to "Hello" by Lionel Richie and didn't get a medal for her trouble. Yes, she's not a very good skater, but come on! Perhaps she should have used a Lionel bust as a prop and would have won...?

Which reminds me of an old joke, but we need this to put it in context:

for starters, her name is nicole richie. not nicole r-i-t-c-h-i-e. she is the daughter of everyone's favorite commodore, lionel richie. remember him? his hello music video had him seducing some flashdance wannabe sculptor. she was a very skilled blind artist managing to make a bust that looked exactly like lionel from her imagination. tangent. anyway, her mom is brenda harvey-richie. she is sometimes credited as a song writer, singer, and production assistant. her parents divorced after her mom caught her dad banging another woman. the mistress, diane alexander ended up as lionel's second wife. um, they're divorcing too.

Anyway, some comedian had an old joke that when Brenda walked in, Lionel plaintively sang, "Is it me you're looking for?" I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, Hustler of Culture's post about Nicole includes this additional tidbit:

nicole is also the god-daughter of michael jackson. she swears nothing kinky ever happened when she used to sleep over.

Of course not. Nicole is female. But I don't digress. Let's go back to this common misspelling of Lionel (and Nicole) Richie's last name. In fact, here's a misheard lyric by "Lionel Ritchie":

I sometimes see your pants outside my door.

Or perhaps that's what Brenda saw. Anyway, the imdb listing for Lionel Richie indicates that he has been credited as "Lionel Ritchie" at times:

It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (2000) (V) (as Lionel Ritchie) .... Himself

This behind the scenes look at the making of the charity song remake of the Rolling Stones hit 'It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)' sounds really, really bad. And I'm being charitable. In addition to "Lionel Ritchie," the following personnel appeared:

Full Cast and Crew for
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (2000) (V)

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Ray Barretto .... Himself
Tina Barrett .... Herself (as S Club 7)
Victoria Beckham .... Posh Spice/Herself (as the Spice Girls)
Mary J. Blige .... Herself
Jon Bon Jovi .... Himself
Steve Borovini .... Himself (as The Fun Lovin' Criminals)
Jackson Browne .... Himself
James Brown .... Himself
Melanie Brown .... Herself (as the Spice Girls)
Kelle Bryan .... Herself (as Kéllé Bryan)
Emma Bunton .... Baby Spice/Herself (as the Spice Girls)
Dina Carroll .... Herself
Paul Cattermole .... Himself (as S Club 7)
Melanie Chisholm .... Sporty Spice/Herself (as the Spice Girls)
Joe Cocker .... Himself
Andrea Corr .... Herself (as The Corrs)
Caroline Corr .... Herself (as the Corrs)
Jim Corr .... Himself (as The Corrs)
Sharon Corr .... Herself (as the Corrs)
Steve Cradock .... Himself
Brian 'Fast' Fisty .... Himself (as The Fun Lovin' Criminals)
Simon Fowler .... Himself
Herbie Hancock .... Himself
Chrissie Hynde .... Herself
Eric Idle .... Himself
Natalie Imbruglia .... Herself
Mick Jagger .... Himself
Kelly Jones .... Herself
Jay Kay .... Himself (as Jamiroquai)
Ronan Keating .... Himself
Kid Rock .... Himself
B.B. King .... Himself
Jon Lee .... Himself (as S Club 7)
Annie Lennox .... Herself
Bradley Mcintosh .... Himself (as S Club 7)
Huey Morgan .... Himself (as The Fun Lovin' Criminals)
Jo O'Meara .... Herself (as S Club 7)
Dolores O'Riordan .... Herself (as The Cranberries)
Ozzy Osbourne .... Himself
Mark Owen .... Himself
Rick Parfitt .... Himself
Iggy Pop .... Himself
Bonnie Raitt .... Herself
Keith Richards .... Himself
Lionel Richie .... Himself (as Lionel Ritchie)
Gavin Rossdale .... Himself
Francis Rossi .... Himself
Skin .... Herself
Hannah Spearritt .... Herself (as S Club 7)
Rachel Stevens .... Herself (as S Club 7)
Robin Williams .... Himself
Cecil D. Womack .... Himself (as Womack and Womack)
Linda M. Womack .... Herself (as Womack and Womack)

It's interesting to note that Ron Wood and Charlie Watts were nowhere to be found. But Gavin Rossdale was there:

Gavin appeared on the 1999 cd as one of the many artist that sang in a remake of 'It's only rock 'n roll', orginially by the Rolling Stones. The cd (which was named after the song) was to benefit the Children's Promise organization (Children's Hour).

Wassupwithat? (From the Philippines)

Children’s Hour is a fundraising and grant-giving organization calling on individuals and companies to donate an hour of their earnings to support programs committed to the welfare and development of our children....

The idea for Children’s Hour originated in the United Kingdom as “Children’s Promise” under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair, Marks & Spencer plc Chairman Sir Richard Greenbury, and the New Millennium Experience Company. It has found its global advocacy leader in the International Youth Foundation based in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. With the help of the IYF and its partner organizations, Children’s Hour has gained global significance, bringing worldwide support to meaningful programs that are changing young lives in every corner of the globe.

But what about the kids in our favorite country of Austria? The webmaster at stones.at alleges that Mick and Keef may not put the mouths where their money is:

On May 31st 1999 after heavy partying Mick and Keith have been too lazy to visit nearby SOS-children's village Imst, Austria, where children waited for them for weeks...

December 13th 1999: various artists charity single:

Stones.at also links to some information about a 2002 Patti Smith concert:

There isn't much to happen during summer in a city that always prepares for winter-olympic games, that happened many years ago.
But there has been one very rare exception: One of the most remarkable writers of US passed Innsbruck, the day Elvis died 25 years ago and the Rolling Stones did their warm up-gig for their next tour in Toronto. Seems they really love Elvis in US, because we heard him from Pattis Bus rather loud before the show, so this evening had to start with "Jailhouse Rock", of course.

But when Patti came on stage, we knew, that were lyrics from the past, but power in the presence. And that was the unspeakable moment of that evening, Patti came and the whole audience about 800 people felt the power, she gave to all, really all, of the people at the concert-hall.

And you remember my question about Patti from 2003. (I've been blogging for that long?) But let's see what was said about Patti and Fred in 2005:

Like the saddle-sore outlaws of The Wild Bunch, [Patti] Smith is a battered survivor of a freer era, rock'n'roll's lost frontier. Life has given Smith a bit of a battering over the past 15 years. Life, or more accurately, death: her dear departed include husband Fred Smith, best friend (and Horses photographer) Robert Mapplethorpe, brother Todd Smith, and long-time piano player Richard Sohl (all of whom died much younger than they should have), along with both her parents and close friend William Burroughs. In the early days, many of her songs were dreamed into being, but nowadays, Smith notes, 'my dreams are populated by people I've lost'. So she's a survivor in another, sadder sense....

Patti Smith's an icon, alright, but she started out as an iconographer, developing her presence through close study of her heroes - Dylan, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, and, implausible as it may seem, TV host Johnny Carson. From this seemingly middle-of-the-road figure, Smith learnt techniques of grace under pressure that helped her deal with the hostile audiences she faced early on. 'If I was making my stew, there's a big chunk of Johnny in there,' she chuckles.

And of course Johnny Carson's dead too. But he's still remembered and not forgotten. The same with the Carson-Rivers feud. Here's how one writer summarized it:

Joan failed to get JC's permission [before her Fox show]
so he threw a hissy fit

The writer, by the way, was Richie. Not Ritchie. Richie. And Johnny isn't the only one who threw a hissy fit about Joan. Here's something from 2002:

IAFF to Joan Rivers: Your Sick Humor is an Insult

A statement from General President Schaitberger

May 3, 2002 – Comedian Joan Rivers’ attempts to find humor in the catastrophic loss that our members and their loved ones suffered on September 11 is a new low and cannot be tolerated.

For those of you who may have missed the news reports, she has a bit in her current show in England that openly mocks the relatives of our brothers. Her new show, “Broke And Alone In London,” makes light of the widows whose husbands were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center. It’s hard to understand, given that she lost 11 friends herself that day....

Despite negative reaction in England, she is vowing to keep the sick joke in her act, and I’m sure she’s just waiting for the backlash so she can jump-start her career. Well, here it is.

First, let me be clear to Ms. Rivers that our widows would give anything to have their husbands back. The loss they suffered in an instant was total and profound, and no efforts by anyone can make that pain go away. But, as you have proven, it can be made more painful with a resentful remark or a caustic comment.

Second, these courageous women have received very little in real terms in exchange for what they have lost. The financial burdens of losing a primary breadwinner, feeding, clothing and educating hundreds of fatherless children, and planning for decades of your own life without your loved one are overwhelming. Ms. Rivers should check her facts. The widows and families haven’t received anything near $5 million, but even if they had, it would not equal what they have lost.

Third, and last, Ms. Rivers has attacked the very symbols of this proud nation’s response to terrorism. If she had been in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, the New York fire fighters – my members – would have sacrificed anything to get her out alive. They would do the same for her now, even knowing how little she thinks of their devotion to her safety. This is a nation at war, and Ms. Rivers’ comments strike at the heart of our unified front against the threats that face us. Maybe it doesn’t feel as real in London, but I can tell you it feels real to my 250,000 members protecting North America.

I am sorry that Ms. Rivers has chosen to find humor in our tragic and devastating loss. To the IAFF and to the families of the 344 fire fighters who gave their lives so others might live, it is no joking matter.

Remember, however, that Joan has her own ways of dealing with pain. This is a woman whose husband has committed suicide, remember. And her humor is not nice and neat:

''I'm still angry about everything. My comedy is all about anger. It's all about 'This is not right, this is not fair' and 'Who are you kidding?"...

She tosses out a few zingers about Donatella Versace's face—punctuating the joke by scrunching up her own famously enhanced visage—and Rosie O'Donnell's hygiene (not printable in a family magazine) before directing her rage at born-again Christians. ''I hate Jesus freaks,'' she declares. ''They're ugly,'' she seethes, her huge cocktail ring bouncing sparkles around the room with every pointy gesticulation. '''Jesus loves me,' they say. If he loved you so much he would have given you a f -- -ing chin.''...

''One thing that's kept me going is I really have never lied. I hate when celebrities lie.''...

''I never went back on The Tonight Show, never on Letterman, never on Conan. It's a boys' club and I've been shut out.''...

''When Edgar killed himself it was such a rough time. I was fired from Fox, and Melissa wasn't talking to me,'' she says, her eyes filling with tears. ''I was banned from late night, Vegas gave up my contract.... That was the worst period of my life.''

As the National Lampoon parody of John Lennon once said, "Genius is pain."

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

(4) comments links to this post

Stealing DadTalk's Thunder 

This is something that would best be covered by DadTalk, but in the interim I'll go ahead and interject my one and one-half cents.

From AP/Yahoo:

Divorce put David List and his 2-year-old daughter on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and he worried that she would soon forget him.

She hasn't, though. List's divorce agreement guaranteed him "virtual visitation" — the chance to talk with his daughter through an Internet video connection — and he and Ruby Rose, now 5, usually connect at least twice a week. The chats sustain them in between their in-person visits, which come only a few times a year....

Advocates of virtual visitation want states to spell out in their laws that judges can make it part of a divorce agreement.

The benefits go beyond helping parents and children stay close, supporters argue. They say noncustodial parents are more likely to pay child support regularly if they can stay in touch, and electronic visits can help keep children from getting caught up in fights when bickering exes meet in person.

Utah made virtual visitation an official option in 2004, and similar legislation awaits the governor's signature in Wisconsin. Illinois, Missouri and Virginia lawmakers have introduced proposals, too.

"A telephone can only go so far," said Republican state Rep. Ruth Munson of Illinois.

The idea has its critics, though, who fear judges might use the option of virtual visitation as justification for ordering fewer real visits with children or letting one parent move away with the children.

"Real parents need real time. Real kids need real time," said David L. Levy, director of the Children's Rights Council.

"It can be a wonderful accessory, but the danger is that it will be used as a substitute for real visitation."...

Cheryl Hepfer, president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and a Rockville, Md., attorney...said she has seen cases where virtual visitation helped keep the peace between exes because seeing the child's face eased the absent parent's fear that the child was being manipulated or monitored. She also called it "common sense" that parents using virtual visitation would be more willing to pay child support.

There is a whole website, InternetVisitation.org, that promotes the practice.

It's interesting to see how technology is one step ahead of the law in this case. By the time the law catches up, the technology will have changed.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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And yes, I know which state wasn't an original 

You Passed the US Citizenship Test

Congratulations - you got 10 out of 10 correct!

Upon reflection, I wonder if these questions were truly the important questions. I'll grant that it's nice to know when the President's inauguration occurs (and by the way, websurfers who took this test in 1928 would have given a different response), but the one thing that I didn't see in the questions was any question having to do with separation of powers (well, there was one, I guess). It's more important for a potential citizen to know the roles of the different branches of the Federal government, and it's even more important to know the roles of Federal vs. state governments (in other words, why you don't call your Senator when your neighbor's dog barks at 3am).

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Friday, February 24, 2006

If you're going to be a bad writer, at least be original at it 

Those of us who are bad writers have to work hard at it. It takes a lot of effort to come up with really bad stuff.

Of course, some choose to use a shortcut and steal bad stuff from others.

Consider the latest in the Lindsey Jacobellis saga.

Esteemed writer Ed Laubach, while writing for the Express-Times of Easton, Pennsylvania, came up with the following gem in his February 19 column(as noted here):

My personal Olympic moment so far, Dude, is Lindsey Jacobellis showboating to a silver medal in the snowboard cross. She could've had the steak but chose the hot dog.

Now that is a groaner. Steve Dilbeck may have been over the top, but at least you didn't want to bang your head against the wall after having read it.

Now why would you bang your head against the wall? Because the idea is so unoriginal. Look at the February 17 San Jose Mercury News' reprinting of a Fort Worth Star Telegram article by Gil Lebreton (as noted here):

Lindsey Jacobellis could have had the steak. Instead, she went for the hot dog.

Now I don't necessarily know if this is an example of plagiarism. It is, however, an example of "poor minds think alike."

Incidentally, back to Lebreton, who was able to uncover something that I hadn't known previously.

"I was in the last turn," said Frieden, "and I was already stoked for the silver. But at the same time, I was thinking, `Hey, you never know.' I learned that from experience myself with Lindsey in the X Games."

Frieden told a story about comfortably leading an X Games race, thinking gold medal, and standing up as she neared the finish.

"Lindsey was stalking behind me, and she ended up first," Frieden said.

When was that, somebody asked?

Jacobellis shrugged. "I've hit my head too many times (to remember)."

So let's see what I can learn from Ed Laubach:

Pardon my ignorance but when did women start playing hockey? 1990? It must've been exhibition....

And how about the U.S. men's hockey team's 3-3 opening tie with Latvia, a country the size of West Virginia, the sons of the Baltic, guys named Atvars, Artus, Arvids and Agris going even-Steven with millionaire American NHL players?...

I keep getting names confused: Evgeni Plushenko, Ben Agosto and Shane Victorino Johnny Weir, Joey Cheek and Al Roker Hannah Teter, Janet Jones and Katie Couric Bode, Ohno and Rufus.

He forgot Chaka Khan. But I'm sure that after forty years of writing you slow down a bit. Who knows - perhaps Laubach can't find his own parking space any more. (Explanation here.)

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Postscript on NBC's Olympic Coverage (They Know Who Kiira Korpi Is) 

[29 Jan 2007 - my Kiira Korpi del.icio.us tags are here.]

Last night, after returning from Vince's Spaghetti and watching a 20 year old Jeremiah Films production on the Mormon Church (a film which had the look and feel of Jack Chick, in a way), I went to my in-progress recording of the NBC Olympics coverage, rewound it, and was surprised to see that NBC actually covered Kiira Korpi's free skate program. Looks like she (understandably) had a bit of nerves (she waited a minute before actually going on the ice to start her routine), but she did well - a lot better than I'd ever do.

People a little more knowledgeable about the sport have made the following comments.

Tuuliiki (must be Italian):

So. Susanna Pöykiö came 13th, Kiira Korpi 16th. Good for Kiira - she was 20th after short program - bad for Susanna, but... it happens.

Incidentally, I believe the NBC commentators described Pöykiö's routine as either "slow" or "sluggish" (I forget what term they used). Frankly I didn't notice the difference.


Kiira Korpi will be good in a few years. She needs to find music and choreography that better suit her... if she doesn't make it big as a model.

Incidentally, the panted one also had this comment about one of the skaters:

Hubba Hubba Tugba. She made up for the lack of the goods that most of the top skaters have, at least in one way. There was fight in the program. Even though she would have liked to have started her program with a two triple toes, she doubled them both, but she didn't let those get her down, going on to hit three triple jumps and two double axels en route to a 21st place finish. There may be better skates and stronger jumps ahead. Additionally, NBC's dedication of the Chevy Olympic moment to her was apt, and worth a look for any kid growing up in America, especially if they're partaking in sport. Hopefully they get the right message: though Tugba's parents sacrificed everything for her talent, she seems to be very grounded and respectful of that, even perhaps a bit in disbelief that her parents did all of that for her.

I haven't seen this Chevy Olympic moment thingie - I'll have to look at that. And here's what was said about the winner:

Shizuka Arakawa delivered a solid program, which, for a few seconds, hearkened back to her 2004 performance. However, it didn't quite have the same attack or passion. She's done it better (for example, with triple-triples), but tonight, it was clearly the best program. Easy jumps, superb Ina Bauer, good footwork, just the minor doubling.

On to Caitlyn:

Kiira Korpi: I now understand why Finland sent her to the Olympics, and why people gush over her. Bright future, if she gets better music/choreography and gets her jumps consistant....

Susanna Poykio: Started with such fabulous combinations, too. Another Romeo and Juliet program. I want a longer version of that fabulous skirt of hers, it is so pretty! (So, I think I have an adoration for brown dresses.)

Also see quotes from Dejah and Rosie (also reproduced here), plus earlier comments from Dejah on the short program (also reproduced here).

Taquito to all of you for your coverage and your knowledge.

Postscript: You know how these Olympic athletes inspire people all over the world? Well, I'm inspired now. If I were ever to assemble my own ice skating routine, it would be something like this:

Let go of railing on the side
Put one foot in front of the other
Refrain from falling on my butt
Stop myself by running into the wall

And under both the new and old scoring systems, I'd get a big fat 0.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)


(3) comments links to this post

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Time on the roundup - five thirty 

NBC's Olympics coverage is like the Big Brother TV show. Because the Olympics coverage is on tape delay, they can assemble the "best" bits out of all of the tape that they have, and then put it into a story line.

This is different from what Howard Cosell claimed to be able to do. Cosell maintained that his talent (one of many) was to establish a story line for an athletic event as the athletic event was going on.

NBC and Big Brother come up with the story line after the event is over.

But I bet that they both cheat beforehand. I'm sure that NBC's reality show writers started working on tonight's show well before the event actually concluded. And what did they use for source material? Stuff like this, printed in Myrtle Beach Online way back on February 10 after having been compiled by the Dallas Morning News. In their list of Olympic duels, this one was included:

World champion Irina Slutskaya of Russia vs. U.S. champion Sasha Cohen. What contradiction in rivals! Slutskaya is a sturdy lightning rod. Cohen is a fragile, enchanting stunner of an athlete. It's hard to root against either of these gamers. Both have suffered illnesses, injuries and general family challenges. Slutskaya was so strong in the mid-January European Championships that beating her will take every possible break and benign smile from the skating gods.

By Tuesday night, the NBC reality writers really started cranking after the short program:

With all the pressure of skating last resting on her slight frame, U.S. champion Sasha Cohen performed brilliantly to edge Russian favorite Irina Slutskaya in the women's short program Tuesday night.

Cohen earned a total of 66.73 points for an ice-thin lead of 0.03 points over Slutskaya heading into the free skate Thursday night, when the Olympic medals will be decided.

One NBC writer probably wrote a first draft for Thursday's program that went something like this:

JULIE CHEN: It's the next to last day in the Olympic Skating House, and we're getting ready for the showdown between Sasha, the young skater from the United States, and Irina, the strong skater from Russia.

[JULIE pivots toward another camera]

JULIE CHEN: These two skaters battled it out on Tuesday night, with Sasha barely beating Irina.

Unfortunately, the other writers reminded the first one that Julie Chen is not working the NBC Olympic games, and that it would look pretty silly for Bob Costa [OE 5:33 - also known as Bob Costas] to do a dramatic pivot, so the whole idea had to be rewritten.

Well, reality invaded this reality show, and the NBC reality writers had to perform another rewrite. Why, why, why?

She was elegance on ice, her spirals superb, her skating sublime. That she was standing in the end didn't hurt, either.

Which one? Which one? Sasha, or Irina? Turns out it was neither one:

Shizuka Arakawa made this one look easy. Her brilliant performance Thursday night gave Japan its first medal of these Olympics — a gold in the showcase event....

[She was] mesmerizing, even spellbinding.

Everything American champion Sasha Cohen and Russian star Irina Slutskaya were not. They gave Arakawa plenty of help by tumbling to the ice often enough to make it a rout.

After the three were separated by a mere .71 points in the short program, Arakawa won the first figure skating gold ever for Japan by nearly eight points....

Emotionless for most of her four-minute routine, Arakawa broke into a smile that only got bigger when the scores were flashed. When her personal best of 125.32 points for the free skate were displayed, she flashed a "V" for victory sign then pumped her fist when she moved into first place with 191.34 points.

Cohen already flubbed her first two jumps — and her shot at gold.

"I was very disappointed with my skate," Cohen said. "I definitely gave 100 percent in my effort, I gave it my all. So I have no regrets with that. But it just wasn't my night."

That left Slutskaya, a two-time world champion and 2002 Olympic silver medalist. She lacked sparkle in her free skate and the fall crushed any chance she had.

"I'm a little disappointed in my skate," she said. "It's life, it's competition, and we can't change anything right now."...

Arakawa sang her national anthem on the podium, then held the medal tight while she took a victory lap — only letting go when she was handed a Japanese flag.

Cohen also waved, pleased with her "gift." But Slutskaya stood stone-faced, even shell-shocked, on the podium. While the other two medalists acknowledged the crowd, Slutskaya looked like she wanted to be anywhere but the Palavela arena.

All of this happened several hours ago, but NBC is just starting to show it on tape delay right now. That is, if you live on the East Coast. If you live on the West Coast, the tape delay will be tape delayed. (If you're upset with me for giving a TV spoiler, don't look at the Internet.)

Here are the results:

1 ARAKAWA Shizuka JPN 191.34 3 1
2 COHEN Sasha USA 183.36 1 2
3 SLUTSKAYA Irina RUS 181.44 2 3
4 SUGURI Fumie JPN 175.23 4 4
5 ROCHETTE Joannie CAN 167.27 9 5
6 MEISSNER Kimmie USA 165.71 5 6
7 HUGHES Emily USA 160.87 7 7
8 MEIER Sarah SUI 156.13 10 8
9 KOSTNER Carolina ITA 153.50 11 9
10 GEDEVANISHVILI Elene GEO 151.46 6 13
11 LIU Yan CHN 145.30 15 11
12 LEUNG Mira CAN 145.16 14 12
13 POYKIO Susanna FIN 143.22 12 15
14 SOKOLOVA Elena RUS 142.35 18 10
15 ANDO Miki JPN 140.20 8 16
16 KORPI Kiira FIN 137.20 20 14
17 LIASHENKO Elena UKR 134.08 13 18
18 SEBESTYEN Julia HUN 129.26 16 20
19 HEGEL Idora CRO 127.07 17 19
20 EFREMENKO Galina UKR 125.37 24 17
21 KARADEMIR Tugba TUR 123.64 22 21
22 FONTANA Silvia ITA 120.37 23 22
23 PAVUK Viktoria HUN 119.85 19 23
24 MAXWELL Fleur LUX 109.57 21 24

Final not reached
CARTER Joanne AUS 40.86 25
LUCA Roxana ROM 39.37 26
KIM Yong Suk PRK 39.16 27
GLEBOVA Elena EST 38.40 28
GIMAZETDINOVA Anastasia UZB 38.44 29

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Time on the roundup - twelve forty five 


They just showed Kiira Korpi during the ice cut, but I was uploading. Nothig I could do. Poor kid did not skate well.

From the ISU forums:

Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Posts: 159
Location: UK
Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 7:46 pm

First two groups :

Great skates from Olympic new girls Korpi, Leung (technical score of 51.83) and Yan Lui - Efremenko also good.

Programmes littered with errors from the Olympic veterans Liashenko, Sokolova and Sebestyen. Sokolova held up by PCS.

From skatingforums.com:

#11 Today, 03:02 PM
Registered User Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 103


There seems to be a lot of pressure on these ladies and many of them are so overly focussed on getting their components done that they have this panic look on their faces on the ice because they're so nervous.
#20 Today, 03:27 PM
Registered User Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 1,124

Originally Posted by charmainia
Miki Ando fell on her quad attempt. Is she planning some triple-triple combination?

Not only did Miki fall on her quad attempt, she also missed several of her triples. I feel sorry for her; the CBC commentators said the Japanese media have followed her nonstop throughout the Olympics and Miki broke down in tears after a reporter asked her about her late father....

After thinking a bit and reading the comments above, something struck me about this whole thing.

Note that as I previously mentioned, I have actually met Kiira Korpi briefly. In fact, the meeting was so brief that I had forgotten that I have technically met her twice. The second time was at Los Angeles International Airport, where I held this inaccurately reconstructed conversation with her:

OE: So are you on the [airline name deleted] flight?
KK: Yes.
OE: Taquito.

Truth to tell, I've never interacted with her extensively, but she certainly seems like a nice enough girl, and those who know her better have confirmed this.

As I previously noted, Korpi made the Finnish Olympic team due to an excellent showing in the European championships in Lyon in January 2006. That vaulted her into a very select company. How select? Well, think about other sports:

About 0.5 %, or one in 200 of high school senior boys playing interscholastic baseball will eventually be drafted by an MLB team

About 5.6 %, or less than three in 50 of high school senior boys interscholastic baseball players will go on to play men's baseball at a NCAA member institution.

About 10.5 %, or less than eleven in 100 of NCAA senior male baseball players will get drafted by a Major League Baseball (MLB) team.

And these are higher percentages than in other sports. So you have all of these people playing baseball, and only a few hundred of them are at the U.S./Canada major league level at any one time.

Now look at all of the ladies' figure skaters in the world - not just in the U.S. or Canada, but in the entire world. How many of them made the Olympics? Only 29.

So the next time you hear someone talking about how so few people play at the major league baseball level (MLB), or the professional football level (NFL), or the men's basketball level (NBA), it's proper to acknowledge that these people ARE at a very high level, but their leagues are not quite as selective as Olympic ladies' figure skating.

And yes, I know that I'm comparing an individual sport to team sports, but there are certainly more than 29 PGA golfers, and more than 29 pro tennis players.

Perhaps one could argue that the 29 ladies' figure skaters at the Olympics aren't necessarily the best 29 - Michelle Kwan fans could certainly make that argument, and there are probably other cases in which a skater didn't make the Olympics because her country only had a limited number of slots - but you can still argue that these 29 skaters are among the best of the best.

Now the Steve Dilbecks of the world may think that the ladies' figure skater who falls may be internally tormented for the rest of her life. But I suspect that these people, even with their obvious drive to succeed, will derive some satisfaction from just making it to the biggest figure skating stage on this planet, and possibly this entire galaxy. (Although I hear that the ten footed figure skaters in other galaxies are truly outstanding.)

Back on our own planet, there is a commentary on the marketing of Olympic athletes entitled If Sasha Cohen falters tonight, do the terrorists win? (Note: the author does not think that Bush is the greatest man on earth.)

...Joey Cheek and Shaun White are hardly what Madison Avenue had in mind before this Olympics. Back then, it was all bad boy Bode Miller, whose penchant for tippling gave him an every-guy appeal. It was Apolo Anton Ohno, he of the fabulous name, whose soul patch gave him a certain Maynard G. Krebs je ne sais quoi. And it was Michelle Kwan, who fed into the American fetishization of Asian females. But now, as these and other Great American Hopes crashed and burnt, we are left with two dorky-looking guys and a Jewish princess to carry the mantle of American pride.

The minute Sasha Cohen emerged with an 0.03 lead over Irina Slutskaya in the short program, she turned into Debi Thomas circa 1988. It is Cohen's good fortune this year that her nemesis is the cute but hardly glamorous Slutskaya rather than the vampish Iron Curtain Maiden Katarina Witt....But Cohen has never been strong in the freeskate, and has often suffered from loss of concentration in the second half of the program. Yet she has never had as much at stake as she does tonight.

The sports press didn't want it to be this way. After Kwan withdrew, they turned their attention to the fresh-faced Emily Hughes, leaving Cohen to focus on the job she has to do tonight. Perhaps they did her a favor, buying her a few days of calm practice time [OE NOTE: What practice?] before deciding that the future of American prestige rests on her small shoulders.

Cohen can be a difficult skater to like. Lacking Kwan's press-friendly demeanor and Hughes' "oh gosh" innocence, she is there to skate, not to talk. But with all the expectations resting with her tonight, the responsibility given her by the press to somehow single-handedly resurrect the United States from the bankrupt wreck it has become under the stewardship of the Bush Administration -- while dressed in spangles and resting on a 1/8" skate blade, I hope she can pull it off -- for her sake, not for ours.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Time on the roundup - twelve o'clock 

I went to Dejah's site (which I visited on Tuesday) to see if she had coverage of today's ladies' program yet, and I noticed that she answered a question that I had previously asked. Here's part of her answer, which illustrates the similarities and differences between Russian and American Olympic coverage:

I am watching the Russian Sports channel RTR on webcast. In Russia, skating is a popular sport, just like here. Except unlike the US, skating gets some respect in Russia. They treat it like a "real sport." RTR runs most skating events live, often in their entirety. A subscription is $9/month, payable via Paypal, and this was the best $9 I ever spent on skating.

Though the announcers yammer on—some things don't change form American TV—it's all in Russian, which I know very little of. It's easy to tune out....

Most interesting, perhaps, is the post skating mike-in-the-face interviews. Of course, they only seem to interview the Russians, but that's okay. Russian TV is even MORE "homer" and Russophile than US TV is Ameri-centric. It's nice to see though, that skaters who stumble or are stiff and nervous when speaking English, actually smile and are very personable when speaking their own language....

The other thing I LOVE about Russian TV is that they don't think the viewer is too stupid to understand figure skating. When Marinin did that scary axel lasso lift in the long program, they did a replay and you could hear Anton talking, probably about the ice spray flying and the insecurity of Marinin's footwork in the lift. The showed Marinin's FEET, which in ALL the times ABC and NBC have showed that horrific accident when Totmianina fell out of the lasso lift, NONE of them have showed WHY she fell... Marinin's feet. And it goes on. Russian TV does replays of landings, close up so we can see if they are two footed.

I've also had an opportunity to get another perspective on US TV coverage:

A couple of nights ago I had the opportunity to meet high school exchange students from Germany, Finland, and Japan. I had an opportunity to ask them what they thought of Olympic coverage, and the German student (the most vocal of three) expressed clear displeasure at the paucity and quality of coverage here in the U.S.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Time on the roundup - eleven thirty 

Kiira Korpi is in second place - for the moment:

1 LEUNG Mira 145.16
2 KORPI Kiira 137.20
3 LIASHENKO Elena 134.08
4 EFREMENKO Galina 125.37
5 KARADEMIR Tugba 123.64

However, the free skating competition starts with those who placed last in the short program, so the people who scored higher on Tuesday still have to skate.

Whoops, she just dropped to third.

1 LEUNG Mira
50.61 (14)
94.55 (2)
46.69 (18)
95.66 (1)
3 KORPI Kiira
44.84 (20)
92.36 (3)
52.35 (13)
81.73 (5)
41.25 (24)
84.12 (4)
44.20 (22)
79.44 (6) 123.64
7 FONTANA Silvia
42.47 (23)
77.90 (7)
8 PAVUK Viktoria
46.40 (19)
73.45 (8)
44.53 (21)
65.04 (9)

And as I formatted the text above, she dropped to fourth.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Time on the roundup - seven forty five 

I promised myself that this blog would be all figure skating today, but I heard something on the radio this morning that deserved comment.

I'll often listen to the 7:00 am CBS radio news on KNX as I drive in to work. (Sorry, KOER staffers, but I have to listen to real news at least once in a while.) Christopher Glenn was doing his news thing, talking about port deals and other stuff, when all of a sudden Charles Osgood's voice was heard. I figured it was some type of commercial, but it turns out that Osgood was announcing that Christopher Glenn was retiring.

Osgood then talked about Glenn's career, including the show which first brought him to my attention years ago. Those of you who are really old may remember "In the News," which popped up among the Saturday morning cartoons. This was part of CBS News' mandate to serve The Public (in this case, The Citizens of Tomorrow) by providing simple, straightforward, yet meaty news for those of us who weren't reading Foreign Affairs every day. Glenn's distinctive voice (he was never seen, and to this day I have no idea what he looks like - he may be a four hundred pound Afro-wearing Korean-American for all I know) set the tone for this and his other projects, including his current newsreading on CBS Radio.

Osgood also talked about Glenn's catchphrase "Time on the roundup," and even played an audio bit in which David Letterman uttered the phrase on his show. (As an aside, it's interesting to note that Letterman is very cognizant of CBS history (including Jack Benny's move from NBC to CBS, a move that was compared to Letterman's own), and probably uttered the phrase in tribute to the CBS News organization, yet 99% of his listeners probably thought he was just uttering some funny cowboy phrase. Thank you for reading this parenthetical statement on "The Multiple Levels of Understanding on Letterman's Late Show.")

After Osgood was finished, Glenn was almost speechless. After thanking Osgood, he gave a "Time on the Roundup" time check. And KNX went back to local programming.

Here's how Billboard Radio Monitor reported Christopher Glenn's retirement:

CBS Network Radio News anchor Christopher Glenn, the voice of radio’s “CBS World News Roundup,” and the anchor for the network’s hourly newscasts, officially shuts off his mic next Thursday, Feb. 23, after 35 years at CBS and more than 45 years in radio.

Glenn graduated college in 1959 and moved quickly into radio, first with Armed Forces Broadcasting in Korea and New York City from 1960-61....

[After] joining CBS News in 1971, [h]e became a correspondent at CBS Radio News in 1976 and also has covered numerous important stories for CBS Television over the years.

Glenn joined the “CBS World News Roundup” in 1999, after 11 years working on the network’s “The World Tonight.” He has also produced, written and narrated the network’s daily “What’s in the News” for the last 11 years.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Why the paparazzi are ignorant 

I have been on 10+ hour plane flights, and completely sympathize with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen regarding this story:

Were Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wearing itty-bitty binding crankypants when they landed in Australia this weekend? The Sydney Morning Herald snipes that the twin titans, 19, who are Down Under to stump for their new tween-targeted clothing line, appeared "tired," "irritable" and "thinner than ever" in their ubiquitous super-sized sunglasses as they beat a hasty retreat from the airport with their burly bodyguards running interference.

But Ashley is firing back at this assessment, countering that the paparazzi-packed incident perfectly illustrates how tough it is for them to strike a balance between their private and public lives.

"We don't really like our photos being taken when we're not working," Ashley tells the Daily Telegraph. "Over the weekend here we had about 20 photographers at the airport and we'd just got off a flight. Then they write a headline like we're miserable and so upset to be here. We couldn't be happier to be here [but] when you're being attacked after a 16-hour plane flight, that's not nice."


Three French photographers have each been fined a symbolic one euro by France's appeals court for taking pictures of Princess Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Al-Fayed on the night they were killed in a Paris car crash in 1997, justice officials said.

Jacques Langevin, Fabrice Chassery and Christian Martinez were cleared of breach of privacy charges in court rulings in 2003 and 2004, but Dodi's father Egyptian millionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed took the case to France's high court of appeal, the Cour de Cassation.

The Cour de Cassation quashed the acquittal and referred the charges back to the appeals court, which last Friday ruled that the photographers had indeed broken the law and issued the symbolic fine, the officials said.

The three took pictures of the couple as they left the Ritz hotel in central Paris on the night of August 31, and a few minutes later at the scene of the crash in the Alma underpass.

The appeals court also ordered the photographers to pay for the publication of its ruling in three "national or international newspapers chosen by the civil plaintiff," Mohammed Al-Fayed.

According to the court, both series of pictures -- outside the hotel and at the crash scene -- were a breach of France's strict rules on privacy.

"The photographs (at the hotel) were taken with Dodi Al-Fayed inside the vehicle, a location where access is forbiddden without permission of the occupant and which therefore comes under the definition of a private place," the court found.

Concerning the second series at the crash scene, the court said that the "car's involvement in an accident and the consequent opening of a door, exposing a seriously injured person involuntarily to outside view, in no way diminishes (the car's) quality as a private place.

"By showing Dodi Al-Fayed mortally injured, bloody, his body broken by the shock of the accident, the photographers unquestionably committed a breach of the respect due to a human being and as a result violated the personal privacy of the individual concerned," the court said.

Who gets the money?

The single euro divided between the trio will be paid to Mohamed al Fayed, the Egyptian-born millionaire and father of Dodi al Fayed, Diana's companion who also died in the crash.

Why don't they give Prince Charles half of it? Dunno.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Start list for Olympic Ladies' Free Skating 

The start list for the ladies' free skating competition in Turin on 23 February has been posted. Here are the first and last groups. Current rank and points after the short program are listed for each skater:

1 FONTANA Silvia ITA 23 42.47
2 PAVUK Viktoria HUN 19 46.40
3 EFREMENKO Galina UKR 24 41.25
4 MAXWELL Fleur LUX 21 44.53
5 KARADEMIR Tugba TUR 22 44.20
6 KORPI Kiira FIN 20 44.84...

20 COHEN Sasha USA 1 66.73
21 ARAKAWA Shizuka JPN 3 66.02
22 SUGURI Fumie JPN 4 61.75
23 MEISSNER Kimmie USA 5 59.40
24 SLUTSKAYA Irina RUS 2 66.70

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Sound off - 1! Sound off - 1! 

Here's part of a comment I made earlier this morning:

I should probably do one of my exploration thingies and try to look at the view of other countries toward the Olympics, especially the smaller ones. What about the countries that only send a few athletes to the Games, are given no chance of winning, and are generally ignored (not only by NBC, but by most other networks outside of their own countries)? I'm sure that these countries are looking with disbelief at the sight of American silver and bronze medalists arguing with each other at a press conference. Maybe Disney should produce some more movies about these so-called "losers." (Remember the Jamaican bobsled team?)

Enter the Bermuda Winter Olympics team. All one of them.

From the Royal Gazette:

TODAY Bermuda's sole athlete in the Torino Olympics will jump on his skeleton and fly down the dangerous icy track at Cesana Pariol at speeds reaching 85 miles per hour in an attempt to win the island's first-ever medal in the Winter Games....

[Patrick Singleton] has...been treated very well by the hosts since arriving with the British team who Patrick has linked up with. "Things are going great – they are taking good care of us. Patrick has been getting massages with the British team and an Austrian doctor has been helping him with his pelvic problem." Singleton has over the years been injured during training for the luge and skeleton – something that obviously comes with the territory in these sports....

Singleton agreed that competing in his third Olympics will make him more relaxed. He said: "Competing in two previous Olympics will help. I know I wasn't happy with the way I finished in Salt Lake City (where he crashed in the luge). I want to get a lot more out of these Games. The last year and a half have been nothing but solid work but I am reaping the benefits. I am going to go and enjoy myself and race the best I can. I have done what I have wanted to do and I will give it my best shot." In the previous two Olympics in Nagano, Japan and Salt Lake City, Utah, Singleton had to finely balance working for Bloomberg and training when he could.

But this time has been different.

He said: "In previous Games I was working as well as training but for these Games I have only been training for the past year and a half. Basically I have been a full-time athlete."

But while his counterparts in England, Germany, the United States and other countries which have a rich Winter Olympic tradition can just concentrate solely on their event, Singleton said he was very much alone in that he was responsible for many other things.

"As an athlete from a country which doesn't have much tradition in the Winter Olympics I am faced with a lot of challenges that other Winter Olympic athletes are not faced with. For instance I don't have a large federation backing me up and the skeleton or luge does not have a national sports programme in Bermuda!

"Government doesn't exactly say 'here is your team doctor, here is your coach'. I have to do it all by myself whereas the people like the athletes from the United States only have to focus on their race – and that's it."...

"I have to manage everything by myself – things like my finances and how to get from point A to point B with all my equipment – and how to get there cheaply since I am on such a limited budget. And as far as having a skeleton federation behind me, well I run my own federation! I do it all myself. But what all these obstacles have done is make me learn a whole new set of skills – skills I will use later in life – skills that I would never have had the chance to learn so you have to look on the bright side of things."...

"If I take the same passion and energy I have for the luge and skeleton into other areas of my life then I believe I will be a success – at least I hope so."

For the record, Patrick Singleton placed 22nd (out of 27th) in the first heat. He tied for 18th in the 2nd heat, ending up 19th overall.

Steve Dilbeck would probably criticize Singleton for using the wrong runners, but who cares?

A sudden change in weather cost Patrick Singleton a place in the Olympic top ten yesterday – but the skeleton slider declared proudly “19th in the world isn’t that bad!”

With snow falling in the afternoon in Torino, Singleton was faced with an 11th hour dilemma on whether to use standard or snow runners on his sled. He went with the latter but when the weather improved it was too late to change and Bermuda’s sole competitor at the Games was always going to be left out in the cold when it came to the medal hunt....

“Picking your runners is all part of skeleton and based on the weather we made a decision. But once the snow had stopped, it was too late to swap and we had to make do.

“In the regulations you can’t change runners between heats, so for the second run we were stuck with the same ones, although we made some slight modifications and that helped.

But for a brief time, Singleton was a possible gold medalist:

Singleton did get a brief taste of glory yesterday, finding himself in the hallowed winners’ box for being in medal position at the start of the second heat – an opportunity only earned because his slow first run time made him one of the first to compete the second time around.

“It was nice, I guess,” said Singleton, who was pictured laughing away during his short stint in first place.

“If you are near the back from the first run, you get to go earlier second time around so I was in the lead for a bit when hardly any of the guys had gone. It was fun, all the Brits and Canadians were cheering me while I was there.

“All in all it was a great day, although it is frustrating for me that I didn’t do better because of the runners.”...

"I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped me get here, all my friends and family and everyone in Bermuda, particularly my sponsors Montpelier Re and Capital G who stepped in earlier this year."

Aauuugh! A commercial endorsement! Some purist is offended. Too bad.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Steve Dilbeck! d00d! Like, lighten up and stuff. (Lindsey Jacobellis is not the failure of the 21st century) 

I said I'd blog about this Steve Dilbeck column from the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Excerpts (emphasis mine):

It was youth. It was the culture. It was the moment.

Yeah, sure, and it was not very smart.

That's it in the end. That's what Lindsey Jacobellis has to live with for, oh, the rest of her life....

Jacobellis gave us the anti-Olympic moment Friday in the women's snowboardcross final....

[A]s Jacobellis approached the last of two jumps before the finish line, she turned certain victory into the biggest giveaway since the Indians unloaded Manhattan for a handful of beans....

Jacobellis went hotdog. Went showboat. Tried to add a little snowboarder flare to her victory.

Instead of just taking the jump routinely and cruising to victory, she twisted her board in mid air and clutched it momentarily with a hand.

Hope it was worth it.

She landed on an edge and flipped over.

Frieden came over the jump and couldn't believe her good fortune. Jacobellis got back up, but as she struggled to approach the final hill without momentum, Frieden flew past her and to the easy and unexpected victory....

"I just went at the jump because I was having fun and snowboarding is fun," she said. "I was feeling great that I was ahead and I wanted to share with the crowd my enthusiasm. But you know, I messed up and, oh well, it happens."

Oh well, stuff happens. Just usually not with Olympic gold on the line. Not with a world watching, wincing.

Suddenly Jacobellis remembered she had a huge lead and that she was trying to show off.

And then stumbled so badly it could only try to draw historic comparisons....

This was a flop for the ages. The hardest of lessons to learn....

There is seizing the moment, and a lifetime of explaining how it was given away.

Huh? You'd think that Lindsey Jacobellis had murdered Ashlee Simpson or something. (Though some would consider that a plus.)

Anti-Olympic moment?!?

I define an anti-Olympic moment as the murder of the Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich Olympics. Or perhaps the murder and injuries in the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. And conceivably one could argue that the 1980 and 1984 boycotts were anti-Olympic.

But to call Lindsey Jacobellis' hot-dogging anti-Olympic and a flop of the ages of historic comparisons? Sorry, I'm not buying.

Tom Goodman emerges from the streets of Philadelphia to put this into perspective:

We’ve all seen the hot-dogging football player who is just about to strut across the goal line, dragging his feet in an exaggerated motion and styling a la the Heisman trophy pose, when, lo and behold, he is stripped of the ball by an opposing player who literally appears out of nowhere. Ignominy? No, just hot-dogging.

So, when Lindsey Jacobellis blew a sure gold medal by hot-dogging it near the finish line, everyone clucked and admonished her for such foolhardiness. But snowboarding is about hot-dogging in part and apparently Jacobellis has performed the exact same move dozens if not hundreds of times. The only difference is that this time, she missed it at the worst possible moment.

But what do the organizers expect from a 20-year old X-Games look-alike?

Proving that I am not trendy, I cannot understand half of the terms used at snowboarding.com to describe the mishap:

Jacobellis, the lone American rider in the field, led for most of the final run before crashing on a jump on the lower portion of the course. Leading by a good margin, Jacobellis pulled a small, albeit stylish, method air and sketched her landing by catching her heelside edge, causing her to sit down....

"I was gonna try grabbing method or indy, whatever came first," said Jacobellis. "My front hand came down first, so I tried to grab, but it just didn't work."...

After biffing on the method air landing, Jacobellis jokingly added "As a freestyler, I bow my head in shame."

Chester Allen, who is ironically employed by a paper called the Olympian, thinks the biffing and sitting down is refreshing:

Snowboarding has hit the icy, stuffy Winter Olympics with a big, fat snowball in the face -- and all we can do is smile and hang on for the ride.

The Winter Olympics always has been too tense and tight-lipped. We see ice skaters snivel under pressure, alpine skiers crash under pressure and cross-country skiers blood dope under pressure....

There hasn't been enough pure fun in the games, which is weird, as winter outdoor sports really are all about fun.

That's why we spend big bucks on skiing, skating and sledding.

Well, snowboarders -- always the loopiest group at the ski hill -- have ambled onto the medals podium for the United States six times during these games.

We've gotten to see a lot of toothy smiles, baggy britches, iPod wires and stringy hair.

And all of them -- even the ones who don't win a medal -- are having a ball.

Even Lindsey Jacobellis -- the snowboard cross star who blew a gold medal because she couldn't resist a little showboating during the last jump in her event -- doesn't seem too bent out of shape about her silver medal....

There is no doubt that these snowboarders are athletes -- one 20-foot-high jump off the halfpipe wall, followed by a tumbling, spinning trick and perfect landing shows that.

But you never get the feeling that the boarders are getting up at 6 a.m. for a scientifically designed breakfast, followed with weight training, running and a session strapped into one of those giant gyroscopes that NASA uses to train astronauts for zero gravity.

Nope, I suspect the boarders get up just before the ski lifts start cranking, bolt down a bowl of Lucky Charms -- they're magically delicious -- and yank on the snowboarding pants and sweaters that fell on the floor the night before.

They might stretch before the first run of the day -- or not.

In this age of nutritionists, cross training -- and illegal blood doping and steroids -- it's good to see athletes who just live for their outdoor sport....

Hannah Teter, who won gold in the halfpipe event, plans to staple her medal to the wood walls of her childhood playhouse.

That is very cool....

Go to the halfpipes at any ski area -- Summit at Snoqualmie or Stevens Pass are good places -- and you'll see little kids popping big air and practicing tricks over and over and over.

Few parents or coaches are standing by and hoping for future Olympic glory.

No, it's all about kids having fun with their friends.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A Break From Figure Skating - What Happened to Tim Liotta? 

I'm temporarily breaking my "all figure skating all the time coverage" (although I'll note that I...uh...deplore NBC's piecemeal coverage of the Olympic figure skating competition) because I want to find out why I'm getting a bunch of Tim Liotta hits on my blog.

I mentioned Tim Liotta in passing on December 30, 2004 when I quoted from an sfgate.com article:

Morning simulcast: KNBR (680 AM) has announced it will simulcast its morning show on sister station KTCT (1050 AM) beginning Jan. 3. The afternoon drive-time show with Ralph Barbieri and Tolbert also has a dual airing.

You can read two things into the morning-show move: 1) It's a vote of confidence for Tim Liotta and former Chronicle sportswriter Brian Murphy, who took over the morning-show duties last month. 2) It's a vote of no confidence for the Van Earl Wright-hosted Fox Sports Radio syndicated morning show, which has run on KTCT.

In October, Wright replaced Tony Bruno on the Fox program. If Bruno still had his job with Fox, it's pretty safe to assume the KNBR morning show wouldn't go the simulcast route.

So why is everyone suddenly interested in Tim Liotta now? I found some clues. First, here's an excerpt from a February 17th article in the San Francisco Examiner:

Back from the Fog
Sports Rap
By Tim Liotta
Published: Friday, February 17, 2006 11:16 PM PST

Quietly, on the backstretch at Golden Gate Fields, another campaign has begun for America’s most popular horse. Lost in the Fog has been back in traiing for owner Harry Aleo and trainer Greg Gilchrist for almost six weeks now. They’re taking things slowly, to say the least....

I'm going to skip the rest of the article, since I know less about horse racing than other subjects which I know nothing about (EPL football, figure skating). Here's how the article ended:

Tim Liotta co-hosts the 5:30-9:30 a.m. “Morning Show” on KNBR (680 AM).

Remember the "vote of confidence" in 2004? Well, if you go to the KNBR website today (February 21) you can read about the morning show team of Murph & Mac, a/k/a Brian Murphy and Paul McCaffrey. This leads me to conclude one of three things:
  • Tim Liotta has changed his name to Paul McCaffrey.

  • Tim Liotta quit.

  • Tim Liotta was fired.

Radio-info.com, which is usually good about such things, currently has no postings about Tim Liotta on its sports board.

If anyone knows what happened, please post it in the comments.

[UPDATE 11:15 PM]
Radio-info.com did have the information, but not in the sports board. Here are some excerpts from the KNBR posts:

Subject: KNBR Morning Show
Posted by: BossRadioDJ
Posted on: 02/21/06 05:22 PM

I haven't been paying good attention lately ... how long has Paulie Mack been Brian Murphy's sidekick on the KNBR Morning Show?

The KNBR website has erased all references to the hosts on the morning show, and Murphy mentioned this morning that Tim Liotta is still with KNBR as its "Creative Director."

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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It's five o clock in the west 

Ladies' figure skating short program results are available here.

U.S., Canadian, Swiss, and Finnish results:

1. COHEN Sasha, USA
7. HUGHES Emily, USA
9. ROCHETTE Joannie, Canada
10. MEIER Sarah, Switzerland
12. POYKIO Susanna, Finland
14. LEUNG Mira, Canada
20. KORPI Kiira, Finland

All of these people (in fact, all of the top 24 of 29 skaters) qualified for the free skating competition on Thursday.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Gold Schmold and DFL 

At some point [OE 2/22: see this post] I'm going to blog about the Daily Bulletin writer who referred to an "anti-Olympic moment" when someone messed up and got a silver medal instead of a gold medal. I'm sorry, but an "anti-Olympic moment" is when terrorists kill people in Munich or when a bomb goes off in Atlanta.

Those who think that silver medals are stupid will not appreciate DFL, "Celebrating last-place finishes at the Olympics. Because they're there, and you're not." (Incidentally, this is by the same guy that does The Map Room.)

Here are excerpts from the most recent entry:

Bobsled: In the women's bobsled, the Japanese team of Manami Hino, 26, and Chisato Nagaoka, 29, finished 15th with a time of 3:57.49 -- seven and a half seconds behind the gold medallists and a bit more than two seconds behind the next-to-last-place-finishing Austrians....

Speed Skating: 22-year-old Li Changyu of China was 40th in the men's 1,500-metre; his time of 1:53.32 was 7.35 seconds behind the gold medallist's....

Here's part of a more philosophical post:

In a nutshell, mishaps are more dangerous in winter events. Samantha Retrosi suffered a concussion during the women's luge and had to be carried off in a stretcher. Melo Imai suffered a lower back injury during her snowboarding event and had to be airlifted to the hospital....But that's not as bad as it can get: Ulrike Maier was killed during a World Cup downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirschen in 1994....

But there's something to at least some of these crashes and falls: something that came out in the results, when speed skaters fall, crash, and make a point of getting back up and finishing the race, even if they're 30 seconds off the pace. Or when Chinese figure skater Zhang Dan fell during an attempted throw quadruple Salchow, and fell hard enough to stop the program, but managed to get back on the ice and nail the routine enough to get a silver medal. Or when Slovenian skier Andrej Sporn missed a gate during his second slalom run in the men's combined, but instead of skiing off the course as a DNF, herringboned back up the slope and re-skied the gate. He went from 2nd place to 33rd place, but he finished. I wonder how many other skiers would have bothered.

There's something to be said about getting back up and putting in a finish even when all hope of a respectable result is lost. For many athletes, finishing matters. Better DFL than DNF. Not that it's possible in every event: a crash in alpine skiing or luge is almost always a DNF, and there's nothing you can do about it. But there's something important being expressed whenever somebody crosses the line after hitting the ground, long after everyone else has finished.

In case you're wondering about the acronym:

What does DFL stand for?

Good question. It's athlete's slang for coming in last. The D stands for "dead", the L stands for "last", and the F is, well, obvious.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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It's one o clock in the west 

Dejah's Figure Skating blog includes running commentaries on the ladies' program.

Figure Skating SPOILERS: Ladies Short G1 includes Kimmie Meissner, the two Finnish skaters (Susanna Poykio and Kiira Korpi), and others.

For Suomi-like people, here's what Dejah said about the Finns:

pink with criss crossy white straps and 3 tier skirt darkening to magenta
heroic music
3Z-2T nice. jazzy music/ arm waving steps to 3F wonky lancing slying came; inside halt beill. slinky music. nice 2A. arm waving. ugly spiral to nice side spiral nice f spiral ch edge steady back beill spiral ugly sideway lean to layback to beill. back to jazzy music SL FW slow carefully done. not selling it. camel sit cannon layback foot to head ch sit inside catchfoot.

Jazzy music for a skater who cannot sell it really doesn't work all that well.
28.43 + 25.31 = 53.74

bubblegum pink with chiffon sleeves and skirt. Pretty, but VERY pink. Korpi is, as usuall gorgeous
vilion music nice stroking. stalking 2L(?)-2T, steps tonice 3F. nice sideways lean to eh layback. good speed in circle FW but nicely gentle for hte music. music does not do much2A but she does a LOT with it. came;l nice sit cannon catch ch sit inside (traveling), sasha catchfoot. music gets more intense. spiral ch edge nice. back beillman nice catchfoot side axel sit spin outside and another position I missed.

I have seen Korpi only once before and i recall she is not so great in the jumps, otherwise, she is a lovely skater... just really lovely. She's lovely to look at and lovely to watch. BOY, does she look like Jenny Kirk!
23.84 + 21.00 = 44.84

Also see part 2 and part 3. Unfortunately, she missed some of the skaters.

Incidentally, Dejah received an award for her blogging coverage:

The 2006 Winter Olympics is full of drama and stories like every other Olympics and yet, as with every Olympics, they are endlessly new and engaging. Stories write themselves, and photoblogs and videos overflow with energetic images. Podcasters and bloggers report directly from Torino; commentary races around the Web, full of gossip, news, and views....

Technology writer Dejah does a full-personality edge-to-edge analysis of the figure skating competition. Definitely worth having the Figure Skating Blog open while watching the skating events.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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It's twelve forty in the west 

Here are NBC's results for the first seventeen skaters. The four numbers are Total Element Score, Total Program Component Score, Deductions, and Total Segment Score:

1 MEISSNER Kimmie 34.20 25.20 0.00 59.40
2 GEDEVANISHVILI Elene 33.25 24.65 0.00 57.90
3 HUGHES Emily 31.71 25.37 0.00 57.08
4 ANDO Miki 29.12 26.88 0.00 56.00
5 ROCHETTE Joannie 28.87 26.98 0.00 55.85
6 MEIER Sarah 30.69 24.88 0.00 55.57
7 POYKIO Susanna 28.43 25.31 0.00 53.74
8 LEUNG Mira 29.38 21.23 0.00 50.61
9 YAN Liu 27.24 22.60 0.00 49.84
10 SEBESTYEN Julia 26.75 23.83 1.00 49.58
11 HEGEL Idora 26.74 20.32 0.00 47.06
12 SOKOLOVA Yelena 21.13 25.56 0.00 46.69
13 PAVUK Viktoria 26.78 19.62 0.00 46.40
14 KORPI Kiira 23.84 21.00 0.00 44.84
15 MAXWELL Fleur 24.33 20.20 0.00 44.53
16 KARADEMIR Tugba 25.70 18.50 0.00 44.20
17 GLEBOVA Elena 21.06 18.41 1.00 38.47

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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It's twelve thirty in the west 

If you believe the Olympics people, today's ladies' figure skating competition is timed down to the second.

For example, here are the start and finish (Torino) times for the first warm-up group.

19:07:00 19:13:45 1 KARADEMIR Tugba TUR
19:13:45 19:20:30 2 MEISSNER Kimmie USA
19:20:30 19:27:15 3 POYKIO Susanna FIN
19:27:15 19:34:00 4 KORPI Kiira FIN
19:34:00 19:40:45 5 ROCHETTE Joannie

According to schedule, the last skater (Sasha Cohen) will start at 23:14:00 and end at 23:20:45. That is 2:20 pm local time in California.

Here are some excerpts from NBC's running coverage. They are not covering all skaters (no mention of Kiira Korpi, for example).

Meissner, dressed in a black dress with pink and silver trim, takes the ice. Her triple Lutz-triple toe loop is her first element. She landed it. She didn't have much speed coming out of the Lutz, but got the toe around. She's showing good speed now. Footwork into a triple flip -- nice. Then a layback spin. Now she's into her spiral sequence, something she's been working on a lot this season. Not Cohen-esque, by any means, but improved. Next, an easy double Axel. Meissner does her combination spin, and then goes into straightline footwork. She ends with a flying sit spin. She pumps her fists and then claps at the end. Very solid. Amazing poise for someone making her senior championship debut.

Sale: She had absolutely no fear tonight, and I knew from when she took her beginning position that she was going to skate really well. Her body language was telling us that she meant business. All of her spins were beautiful, she skates fast, and she spins well.

Pelletier: I loved the attack. Every jump she attacked, especially the triple-triple. She was a little bit rushed during her footwork. Musically, her footwork could've been a little bit better, but I'm being picky. She's a young senior and that will come with maturity.

She is in first place....Her total, 59.40, is a personal best by more than three points. Transitions, linking is the lowest component, Pelletier notes -- which it should be, he says.

She got me very excited about the ladies' event, says Sale....

Poykio opens with a clean triple Lutz-double toe. Then footwork into a clean triple flip, though it looks like she had to fight to hold onto the landing. Nice spirals -- particularly her first position. Ends with a catch-foot (Biellmann) position. Very fast final spin. She finishes slightly behind her music but it's only at 2:49 -- within the time requirement.

Sale: She was a very cute skater. She made me smile when I was watching her. She delivered the goods. Really gorgeous triple Lutz. Beautiful jumper and great spinner as well -- nice package overall. Not sure that her second marks will be high because the program was a bit young.

Pelletier: Technically, the program was very good. But the program was unfortunately a bit junior for me -- I think she's capable of doing better choreography than that. The program was lacking a bit of pizazz.

She is in 2nd place....

[Rochette's] first combination is triple Lutz-double toe. Very nice. She's agressive, Sale notes. She really got a lot of speed from the beginning and attacked that. Footwork into triple flip. She slid out on the landing and touched a hand down. That's a shame, because traditionally it's been the Lutz, not the flip, that gives her problems, and she had no trouble with the Lutz tonight. Nice layback spin. Into her spiral. Then a great footwork sequence -- very fast. Nice double Axel. Final combination spin. Rochette smiles at the end of her program, but does not look thrilled. She must be disappointed in the error on that flip.

Pelletier: I love Joannie's skating. She's fast, and I loved the choice of music she had. The height she gets in her jumps is comparable to some men. If she wants to be a contender for a medal, she has to learn to use a little more of her upper body. There's a stiffness to it. But she had one of the best laybacks you'll see tonight.

Sale: I thought that this was a really great performance for her, being her first Olympics. Being back with her old coach has been one of her main ingredients, she knows her very well. I've never seen Joannie so trained. She's ready for this. She seems to be loving her Olympic experience so far. I've talked to her, and she seems really calm. Doesn't seem like she's freaked out by this at all.

She is in second place, behind Meissner.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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It's eight o clock in the west 

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Late December Back in '63? 


Christians talking about Mormons, Mormons talking about Christians, Mormons talking about Palestinians, Mormons talking about Jehovah's Witnesses, Jehovah's Witnesses talking about Mormons.

Mormons talking about Muslims, Christians talking about Mormons and Muslims, Mormons becoming Muslims, Muslims becoming Mormons, and both groups rooted in Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is a Jewish plot against Muslims, or it's a Kabbalah/Babylonian plot against Jews, or it's part of a Marxist/Christian/Jewish plot against Hitler, or Hitler was a Jew bent on destroying Christians.

For those who think the "cults" are aligned against Christianity, notice how the non-Christian movements end up fighting each other half the time.

So let's read Psalm 109:

Psalm 109 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Psalm 109
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 O God, whom I praise,
do not remain silent,
2 for wicked and deceitful men
have opened their mouths against me;
they have spoken against me with lying tongues.

3 With words of hatred they surround me;
they attack me without cause.

4 In return for my friendship they accuse me,
but I am a man of prayer.

5 They repay me evil for good,
and hatred for my friendship.

6 Appoint an evil man to oppose him;
let an accuser stand at his right hand.

7 When he is tried, let him be found guilty,
and may his prayers condemn him.

8 May his days be few;
may another take his place of leadership.

Hmm...where have we heard that before?

9 May his children be fatherless
and his wife a widow.

10 May his children be wandering beggars;
may they be driven from their ruined homes.

11 May a creditor seize all he has;
may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

12 May no one extend kindness to him
or take pity on his fatherless children.

13 May his descendants be cut off,
their names blotted out from the next generation.

14 May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD;
may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

15 May their sins always remain before the LORD,
that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
but hounded to death the poor
and the needy and the brokenhearted.

Wait a minute. I thought the evil one would denigrate prayer in public schools, promote abortions, and work to eliminate the tax exempt status of churches. What's this about the poor and needy and brokenhearted?

17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
may it come on him;
he found no pleasure in blessing—
may it be far from him.

18 He wore cursing as his garment;
it entered into his body like water,
into his bones like oil.

19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
like a belt tied forever around him.

20 May this be the LORD's payment to my accusers,
to those who speak evil of me.

21 But you, O Sovereign LORD,
deal well with me for your name's sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.

22 For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.

23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
I am shaken off like a locust.

24 My knees give way from fasting;
my body is thin and gaunt.

25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
when they see me, they shake their heads.

26 Help me, O LORD my God;
save me in accordance with your love.

27 Let them know that it is your hand,
that you, O LORD, have done it.

28 They may curse, but you will bless;
when they attack they will be put to shame,
but your servant will rejoice.

29 My accusers will be clothed with disgrace
and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the LORD;
in the great throng I will praise him.

31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one,
to save his life from those who condemn him.

Good night. Figure skating tomorrow.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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Freemasonry is Jewish, or so they say (or don't) 

In my last post, I quoted from someone who stated that the similarities of Mormonism and Islam are due to the fact that both are related to Freemasonry. Guess what the Muslims say about Freemasonry? They're about as complimentary as the Catholics, and they have some wonderful things to say about the Jews (emphasis mine):

In the first place, we would like to note that a Muslim should show loyalty only to Allah, his Creator and Sole Protector. His first priority should be his religion and the interests of his faith, since it is that faith only that makes his life brighter. A Muslim should never affiliate himself with any organization that works for the destruction of his religion; rather, he should regard the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as sources of his conduct....

Coming to the question in point, the prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, answers:

"As far as I know, Freemasonry is a secret organization whose beliefs and practices are totally kept confidential except from those who are initiated into it. They have levels of secrets which are not divulged to those who are at lower levels. A Muslim should never fall prey or give allegiance to something which cannot be scrutinized by the firm criteria of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Whoever joins Freemasonry is like a person who writes a blank check; by doing so he agrees to give allegiance blindly to an authority to comply with their wishes no matter what they are.

No Muslim can surrender his will unconditionally to anyone but Allah. If anyone has done so, he is guilty of the most blatant violation namely shirk (associating partners with Allah)."...

A number of people have written about the secret aims of the Society of Freemasons. These were largely ex-members who left the society after finding that they could not reconcile themselves to its aims and purposes. The majority of these cases were in countries where the society was not able to promote itself well, which, in turn, limited its membership. This forced it to promote certain members to higher degrees, which enabled them to know more of the secrets of the society. Through such people we know that the society has a very strict hierarchy that keeps members at a low degree until they have passed a very severe test of loyalty and dedication. We also know that the society serves the aims of world Jewry and derives its name from that particular purpose. A “mason” is a builder, and the Society of Freemasons aims to rebuild the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem after destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Jews allege that the mosque has been built on the site of the destroyed temple.

Everything that furthers the interest of the Jews and promotes their position in the world is undertaken by the society. The cover of absolute secrecy and its strict hierarchy enables it to make use of the positions and influence of its non-Jewish members to serve the Jewish cause. We have to understand that many of its members work for the society trusting that they only serve the causes of liberty, equality and justice. They remain unaware that they simply serve the cause of giving the Jews supremacy in world affairs.
Freemasonry has over the years earned itself a number of enemies, most notably the Catholic Church.

Well, let's look at the view of someone who claims to be Jewish but opposed to the Kabbalah:

It is our firm conviction that there are occult forces that are attempting to infiltrate and radically alter over time the core tenets Judaism, just as they are attempting to do with Christianity.

Mystery Babylon is real, so are the warnings of Moses.

Is the Astoreth Worship Heresy of King Solomon being secretly continued?...

The Grand Lodge of B'nai B'rith was founded by Freemasons, modelled on the Masonic lodge, and uses secret handshakes, passwords, and rituals based on Kabbalah as the 'foundation' for their "Mysteries", just like the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry does....

The Kabbalah is not Kosher, it is a infiltration of Babylonian religion, Astrology, Myth, Magic, Persian Zoroastrianism, Dualism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism that has brought ruination, confusion, and countless evils down upon Judaism.

Now Freemasonry is no ordinary little gentlemens garden club. It has been accused of being violent, conspiring, right-wing, reactionary, racist, and sexist.

It has been accused of formenting and founding such notorious "movement" such as the Ku Klux Klan, P-2 (headed by former SS Herman Goering Division Officer and War Criminal Lucio Gelli who ran the "Rat Line" Operation Gladio Nazi escape network from Europe to South America for the OSS/CIA under Freemason Allen Dulles), and the revamped Scottish Rite of Freemasonry under the Aryan Romanticist/Racialist/British Agent/Confederate General/War Criminal/KKK Wizard, Founder and Chief Judicial Officer Illustrious Albert Pike 33.

Adolf Hitler disagreed about Freemason-Jewish links:

Hitler's hatred of Freemasonry is clearly documented. In 1931 Nazi party officials were given a "Guide and Instructional Letter" that stated, "The natural hostility of the peasant against the Jews, and his hostility against the Freemason as a servant of the Jew, must be worked up to a frenzy." On April 7, 1933, Hermann Goering—who once considered becoming a freemason—held an interview with Grand Master von Heeringen of the "Land" Grand Lodge of Germany, telling him there was no place for Freemasonry in Nazi Germany. The Nazi Primer, the Official Handbook for the Schooling of Hitler Youth, attacked freemasons, marxists, and the Christian churches for their "mistaken teaching of the equality of all men" by which they were said to be seeking power over the whole world.

Freemasons, Marxists, Jews, and Christians. Only Adolf Hitler could bring them all together.

Although the so-called Christian Party claims that Hitler was a Jew bent on exterminating Christians. Wow.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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