I'm not surprised Chicago lost

>> Friday, October 2, 2009

I'm surprised that people thought it was a top 2 contender. I watched Chicago's last presentation to the IOC last night. I was not impressed. The media wanted to make it about Rio versus Chicago, but that doesn't mean it was ever going to come down to those two.

Chicago's bid was relatively lackluster. There wasn't much going for it. Tokyo was selling itself as the first "sustainable games," which is pretty significant. They were going to have a solar-powered stadium. (I'd like to see that. The designs looked pretty cool.) Madrid has most of the facilities already built (very significant post-Athens), and they had a former IOC chairman lobbying on their behalf. This was Rio's second bid. They lost out in the early rounds four years ago and submitted a much better bid this time. When you add in that South America has never hosted the games and that the current IOC chair Jacques Rogge wants the games to be truly "global," it was pretty obvious Rio was always going to win. Chicago never had much of a chance because they never submitted a bid that distinguished themselves outside of the pack.

People are putting way too much in the fact that Obama went to Copenhagen. Since the SLC bid scandal broke years ago, it has become standard for heads of state to lobby (such as making appearances) the IOC because National Olympic Committees can't do the kind of bribing (like tuition-free college educations at US universities) that used to go on to get the games prior to SLC winning. The only reason Bush didn't go four years ago in '05 was because he was hated so much. All the other countries had their heads of state lobby. Brazil had their president in Copenhagen for two days. King Carlos of Spain took a visit too. Japan's prime minister also paid a visit.

Blaming Barack Obama for Chicago's losing bid is ridiculous. It just show how much the US expects to be awarded the Olympic Games every time they put in a bid. The US has hosted more than any other country. There's plenty of countries who deserve the chance to host too.


Mad Men on Sesame Street

>> Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Take A Stand Away From The View From Nowhere

For the press to lead that discussion will require that it make a form of dissent more central to its mission. Not the tedious dissent of partisan rhetoric, but rather dissent in the sense of refusing to accept that the range of possible solutions to the nation’s problems must necessarily come from the centers of power and influence—the White House, Congress, the think tanks, corporate America. As we have seen time and again—on issues like campaign finance, health care, agricultural policy, and social welfare—these institutions are too wedded to the status quo to lead a discussion that is broad and fearless enough to challenge the systems and assumptions that shape America’s politics, its economics, and its civic and social life.

Such a mission would mean radically realigning a newsroom’s resources and priorities toward the goal of broadening the discourse on important issues—even if it required narrowing the scope of what it covers. The press would have to pay less attention, for instance, to breaking, event-driven news and more to sustained coverage of ideas and—crucially—solutions. It would have to stop reflexively marginalizing ideas and voices that come from the fringes simply because no one “official” is embracing them. It would have to rekindle the notion that journalism is not just a check on power, but, when necessary, its adversary. It would have to crusade for some things, and denounce others. News outlets would have to explain themselves and their decisions, and be clear about what they stand for and what they stand against.

In short, they would need to convince the public, by words and deeds, that they are on its side.
Brent Cunningham, Columbia Journalism Review, "Take a Stand: How Journalism Can Regain Its Relevance."



Skunks aren't always so bad. When my twin sister and I were in preschool, one evening we went out into our backyard to play after dinner. My sister was ahead of me and I saw her running after something furry that was black and white. When I caught up with her, she had the furry animal, which was a skunk, in her arms and was petting it. She thought it was a cat. I told her it was a skunk. We back and forth for a little while. "It's a skunk!" "No, it's a cat." Finally, I said, "let's go ask Mom and Dad and what a skunk looks like," and she put it down. When we asked our parents what a skunk looked like, it was an obvious tip-off that they needed to check the yard. Our dad turned on the sprinklers and chased it out of the yard. No one was sprayed. My sister said it purred when she was petting it. Seriously.

Don't they look cute?


Minesweeper - The Movie!

>> Monday, September 28, 2009


Balloon Juice Lexicon

>> Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just a few of my favorites, from Balloon Juice:

“Even the liberal New Republic”- Phrase used by wingnuts, the conservative media, and others to pretend that there is broader support for whatever the nutty idea du jour might be. The New Republic, a center to center-left publication (albeit center-right anywhere else in the world) is hardly a liberal publication, and as hawkish as it gets regarding every use of military force and all things Israel. A frequent corollary is “Even the liberal Camille Paglia.” See also, “center right country.”
“I can see Russia from my house”- Tina Fey’s satirical take on Sarah Palin’s foreign policy credentials. Palin’s actual summation of what qualified her to deal with Russia wasn’t much better: “They’re our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.” Variations are used to mock those (usually but not always Palin herself) who don’t let their ignorance of a given subject stand in the way of offering opinions that they expect others to take seriously. Local commenter Krista, now RedKitten, famously responded, “And when I look out my window I can see the moon. Doesn’t make me a fucking astronaut now, does it?” Krista’s reply became such a popular internet meme that a writer for Leno honored her by ripping it off.
Morans- The spelling of “morons” that results when a RW redneck attempts to insult liberals in writing:


Maybe you should move...

'cause it's not like Vegas is naturally abundant in the water department. It lies within a desert you know...


I've been there!

You can't see the Sarlac pit from this photo though.


Sand Animation by Kseniya Simonova on Ukraine's Got Talent

Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" played by the orchestra at the end.


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