Sunday, February 28, 2010

MORE MEDAL COUNT DORKERY: Fourth Place Medal has their own goofy system, that also puts the U.S. on top. The system works! But they do silly things, like giving "marquee events" higher point values. Figure skating and hockey, I would get giving them higher point values, but not because they're marquee events--more because one person cannot Phelps the crap out of figure skating or hockey and win a bunch of medals. Alpine skiing should count a little less, right? All due respect to Lindsey Vonn's ability to sell Pantene, but we have within alpine skiing events where the same people can win multiple medals. Those medals have to be worth a little less! Whereas a curling medal should count for a lot, since there's only one set of medals. Of course a system that highly values curling and hockey might give Canada the overall victory. Let us never speak of this again. (Well, maybe I'll fool around with this at some point, in a fit of nerdity.)
MEDAL COUNT DORKERY: Using the probably too-obvious system of "three points for a gold, two points for a silver, one point for a bronze" I get the following ranking of the medal winning nations (total points on the right):

1 USA 70
5 KOREA 32
9 CHINA 23
10 SUISSE 21
11 FRANCE 18
12 DUTCH 17
13 POLAND 11
14 CZECH 10
15 ITALY 8
16 JAPAN 8
22 CROAT 5
24 GBR 3

Well hey--it looks mostly just like the actual medal table! U-S-A! I was a little worried before I excelified this stuff, I thought maybe Canada could jump ahead of us due to their five gold medal edge. But no.

So obviously this is a ridiculously simple system, I've seen others, like--say--number of medals relative to population, or to GDP. But first, second and third place are the positions the IOC has chosen to glorify in their stodgy wisdom, you know? You can argue that the nation with the most gold medals wins the Olympics too, but the IOC cares about more than one winner. It cares about the vice winner, and the vice vice winner! Plus the gold medal argument forces you to make ridiculous statements like: Great Britain with one gold had a better Olympics than Japan with five medals. (Another terrible Olympics for Japan by the way. You would think getting humiliated by the Koreans every two years would motivate them more.) I say--no the overvaluing of gold medals! The IOC wants us to care about more than that, and I respect their wishes. America won Vancouver and I have mathematical proof. (Of course the IOC also doesn't want us to declare a "winner" of the games as well but we'll look the other way for the purpose of this post.)
HOLCOMB DOES IT: Americans win at four man bobsled! Holy cow. That never happens.

And with that gold medal I believe we set the all-time Winter medal count record with 37. (That's including the medal in the hockey game later today, color to be determined. I don't have a good feeling about beating Canada twice.) In a sporting event like this you can usually look at a lot of different areas where if X or Y had happened we'd have less medals, or more. But really, in these particular Olympics two of our medals were out-and-out gifts from the Korean short track team (and Ohno and Celski were in a position to accept the Korean generosity) so if you need to point to a particular moment to explain why we're at 37 and not 35, well that would get my vote.

Friday, February 26, 2010

SHORT TRACK IS A JUDGED SPORT WITH ELEMENTS OF RACING: So you gotta decide what's better for your medal chances--stay on your feet? Or go down and try to draw a DQ? It's strategy, baby. And it's sort of infuriating to watch, possibly even when it's your nation winning the medals. But definitely when Ohno gets a hand in and gets DQed and Hamelin gets two fingers in on Sung Si-Bak and gets gold. Look, I'm not bitching, honestly, I think just think this might be one of those permanently flawed Olympic sports. The winter taekwando if you will (not to pick on sports Koreans are good at. I mean I have no problem with archery. Who could?)

(This is all a reaction to this. We needed that medal to beat our Winter record, man.)

(Edit to add of course it is also wonderful when the race is relatively clean and nobody goes down and the American takes silver.) (Or even when the team gets bronze! Okay, we've officially broken our medal record by two, and I don't think anyone can catch us in the overall medal count.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

YAY: Gold and silver for Demong and Spillane! This is of course represents unprecedented American success in the Nordic combined. What next--do we become great in biathlon? Regular ski jumping? Or--dare I hope--curling?

And with the certain medal for the women's hockey team tonight that gives us a stunning five medal lead on the Germans. You to the ess to the a....
UGH: I'm going to assume that Vonn's crash that lead to Mancuso having to redo her giant slalom run cost us a medal, since it took both of them out of contention. And double ugh since a German ended up winning gold--Team USA only has a three medal lead on them now. Stupid Olympics.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AH, AMERICA: These are my favorite American fans thus far:

Via Fourth Place Medal.
MEDAL STANDINGS: I wonder if the Colorado College prediction people are sweating it a little bit at this point--they had Canada taking first and the US and Norway tied for second. Canada is not going to get close to winning the overall medal count at this point, and Germany is America's closest competition at the top. We really need a bit of luck to fend the Germans off at this point, I think--Vonn crashing today doesn't help, though apparently giant slalom is not her strong event (apparently it's the only event she hasn't won in on the international circuit.) Maybe there'll be a meltdown tonight in the figure skating and Flatt or Nagasu will medal somehow. Or maybe our strangely competent Nordic combined team will pull something out. Who can say.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

YOUR SURE SIGN OF AGING OF THE DAY: In a music notes sort of way. Unlike Jim I have too much invested in my Gen-X identity (implying generational hatred of the Boomers, with The Beatles being the easiest symbol of their doofiness--seriously, a bunch of dudes with bad haircuts and silly accents and you people went apeshit?) with side order of American chauvinism (you want we to worship a foreign band when The Beach Boys are right there?) to ever embrace Beatlemania, phony or otherwise. But lately when the radio on scan mode hits a Fleetwood Mac song--I have to stop the scan. I just do! I am transitioning into some kind of older demographic. Plus Fleetwood Mac doesn't seem to carry a lot of generational baggage with them--they're for old people of all ages! I want to be with you everywhere...

The true trigger for my newfound Mac fandom, by the way, is listening to the wonderful little mashup album The Fleetwood Mix. You wouldn't necessarily think FM as being a great backup band for Snoop and Kanye and Q-Tip--and yet it makes perfect sense in retrospect.

Monday, February 22, 2010

SLOTMANS IN EVERYTHING, THE CONTINUING SERIES: On Facebook now. If you're an old blogfriend give me a friend request. Or if I revert back to anti-social networking and my privacy settings go back to "get off my property" mode just shoot me an e-mail (above.)

You know I also think I should start a LiveJournal one of these days? Though I'm probably fooling myself it'll get me to start fiction writing more (one of my eternal internal goals.) Twitter, though? Still not using that. Well--maybe just a little account to start following a few people. And then it's a slippery slope to "OMG baloney and cheez is tremendous!!!" mode.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A WARBLOGGER'S LINKS, CIRCA LATE 2002 OR EARLY 2003: Or whenever I stopped changing the blogroll. This new template took away the blogroll, and anyway I don't read most of those blogs anymore, so I'm just going to post it here for posterity. You know--like an internet historical document or something. A warblogroll, preserved in the cyberember. (And Blogger still has no easy way to put stuff below the fold so this will be one big post.)

After abortion

The Agitator


Airstrip One

Alas, a blog.

American Samizdat



Balloon Juice

Bear Droppings

G. Beato

The Beauty Of Gray

RiShawn Biddle


bloggedy blog



Body and Soul

Boing Boing




Catallaxy Files

Cella's Reviews

China Hand

Christianity Today Weblog

Corsair The Rational Pirate

cut on the bias

Daily Kos

Dancing with Dogs

Peter David

Daze Reader

Brad DeLong


Disaffected Muslim

Distorting the Medium

Dr. Manhattan

Dr. Frank

Dr. Weevil

benjamin domenech online

Dreaded Purple Master Blog

drivelwarehouse dot com


The End of the Bench


Mark Evanier


Gene Expression




Franklin Harris


Kevin Holtsberry

Diana Hsieh

The Illuminated Donkey

The Indepundit



Interesting Monstah


Ipse Dixit

Jeff Jarvis

Joanne Jacobs




Kitty Bukkake

Mark Kleiman

The Knowledge Problem

the Kolkata Libertarian

Kyle Still Free Press

Lake Effect

Amy Langfield

The Last Page

Letter From Gotham

listen missy


Derek Lowe

Media Minded


Midwest Conservative Journal

Mind Over What Matters



Newsrack Blog

New York Timez

No Watermelons Allowed

Objectionable Content

Off the Kuff

off-wing opinion

Andrew Olmsted

On The Third Hand

Pacific Views

Gareth Parker


Plato's Cave

Virginia Postrel


Pure Content

Radio Free Blogistan

Ramblings of a Blue-Collar Slob



relapsed catholic

Richard Bennett's Omphalos

Elayne Riggs

Right Wing News

Steve Sailer

Julian Sanchez

Sand In the Gears

The Sardonic Subversive

Andrea See

Sensible Erection

Sgt. Stryker

Shoutin' Across The Pacific

Shouting 'Cross The Potomac

The Sideshow

Arthur Silber


Sneaking Suspicions

Natalie Solent




Ginger Stampley

Bjoern Staerk

t a c i t u s

The Talking Dog

Dave Tepper

Talking Points Memo

Thoughts from the Rapmaster

Through The Looking Glass

Tom Tomorrow

Transterrestrial Musings

Eve Tushnet

Unqualified Offerings

The Volokh Conspiracy

A Voyage To Arcturus

Jesse Walker

War Liberal

We are full of shit.


Amy Welborn

Matt Welch

Where is Raed ?

Wil Wilkinson

Matthew Yglesias


The Confederate Mack

Camille Paglia



The Other Arena

New Media

Coming Attractions

Drudge Report


The Onion



Old Media


The Economist

National Review

The New Republic


Washington Post




Joe Netsfan

OurSports Central

Bill Simmons


The New Scientist

Yahoo Evolutionary Psychology Group

Comments by YACCS
THE TEMPLATES, THEY ARE A-CHANGING: I figure once a decade is about enough for me. Man, look how active I was in 2002!

And with this template change we say goodbye to the YACCS commenting system. Which I think hasn't been working in years anyway. Ah well. Fare thee well, gentle obsolete commenting system...
SEMI-RANDOM LITERARY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: I can't help but think Yiddish Policeman's Union would have been improved by the inclusion of a Sitka Jewish curling culture. (If this was present and I missed it I apologize to Mr. Chabon.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

RIGHT ON, MATT Y.: The "Torino" bullshit was annoying enough the first time--do we have to keep pretending Turin isn't the correct word in English, or isn't the word used by the actual citizens of Turin?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

SLOTMANS IN EVERYTHING (AN OCCASIONAL SERIES): My Winter Olympics preview at Veteran Presence. Cribbed some facts from Wikipedia and NBC's Olympics site and strung words between them. Enjoy!

(And yes--just to bring some closure to one of this blog's few remaining plotlines--I totally whiffed at NaNoWriMo. Better luck next year, old bean.)