Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

OT: 2014 Winter Olympics Thread



 

 

” cols=“100” rows=“20”>

hopefully this isn’t jumping the gun too much, but i just can’t hold the snark in any longer. behold the glory of russian (the country, not the user here with the same screenname) bathrooms:


 

 

steagles Posted: February 04, 2014 at 10:48 PM | 494 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: olympics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 4 5 > 
   1. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: February 05, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4651945)
Used-toilet-paper bins would keep me out of public restrooms, no matter how long I was in Russia. I think Seinfeld already covered something like that with India.
   2. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4651951)
I really have to sit down and get my DVR all programmed for the Olympics. Zooming through the crap to see actual sports is the only way to watch the Olympics. Last one I spent a couple hours every evening watching nearly everything of interest that happened on multiple channels all day. It was great.
   3. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4651962)
It's not uncommon to find toilets in Europe that won't take used tissue. When I lived in Greece in the 90s, the situation was similar.
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4651965)
I love the Olympics. I know people get fed up with the human interest stories but I love all the cheeseball stuff and over the top enthusiasm for silliness. NBC did a great job last time around using their various channels to make different sports available. If I can avoid watching the figure skating I'll be a happy man.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:27 AM (#4651968)
I spent a few months teaching English in Northeast Thailand, where they had squat toilets everywhere and no toilet paper, just the little spigots you use to wash yourself. In the town there was brand new Tesco supermarket that had air conditioning and Western style toilets. I thought it would be a treat to go use these familiar toilets from time to time, but the seats were usually covered in dirty footprints, because the locals were using them as they would the squat toilets. Which seems dangerous.
   6. Greg K Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4651979)
I really have to sit down and get my DVR all programmed for the Olympics. Zooming through the crap to see actual sports is the only way to watch the Olympics. Last one I spent a couple hours every evening watching nearly everything of interest that happened on multiple channels all day. It was great.

The BBC coverage of the London Olympics was simply amazing. BBC One had the studio guys and coverage of certain top end events, but you could press the "red button" on your remote and bring up live feeds to just about every single event going on at the time.

Of course these Winter (ie. much more important) Olympics I'll be watching from Canada.

Olympic coverage is a delicate balance. You want to provide the viewer with the context as, unlike say a June baseball game, the audience probably has zero idea who the contenders are or what the athletes are trying to do. But ideally you do this without glossing over the actual event. Canadian and British coverage I've seen usually do a good job of this as they'll let the commentators covering the event live handle that while the event is happening. The colour man or woman will tell you about how this particular Norwegian is a former World Champion who had a disastrous season leading into the Olympics and is looking for redemption, while he's lying down taking his prone shots in the biathlon. The American style seems to be to show a pre-packaged movie about an athlete, some talk about him/her in studio, then cut to the last 5 minutes of the race. Which always astounded me a bit. It's not always possible to show events live when they are happening across the globe, and that's ok...I'm not scouring the internet for live scores, so as long as I haven't seen it it's new to me! But show the thing in its entirety!

Favourite Events:
Biathlon
Cross-Country Skiing (hell, Nordic Combined as well, why not)
Curling
Long-Track Speed Skating
Hockey
Luge/Skeleton stuff

Events to Miss:
Figure Skating
Short-Track Speed Skating
Any of the skiing or snowboarding flippy-twirl stuff
   7. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: February 05, 2014 at 11:51 AM (#4651983)
Yes, in the USA, the actual sporting event is the denouement of their human interest story.
   8. villageidiom Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:02 PM (#4651992)
The American style seems to be to show a pre-packaged movie about an athlete, some talk about him/her in studio, then cut to the last 5 minutes of the race. Which always astounded me a bit. It's not always possible to show events live when they are happening across the globe, and that's ok...I'm not scouring the internet for live scores, so as long as I haven't seen it it's new to me! But show the thing in its entirety!
In Vancouver, as well as with London, NBC did a great job showing entire competitions on its affiliated networks (MSNBC, CNBC, USA, a few others), as well as on the mother ship outside of primetime. When the games are ill-timed for American audiences, then most of the coverage seen is the schmaltzy primetime pre-packaged movies and tape-delayed events. I fear the latter with Sochi.
   9. puck Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4652001)
(hell, Nordic Combined as well, why not)


That one always seemed like a bizarre combo. Though they could combine Nordic Combined and biathalon, maybe throw in a union jack parachute for the "James Bond Combined."
   10. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:29 PM (#4652004)
In Taiwan, the used TP bins are very common.
   11. Greg K Posted: February 05, 2014 at 12:31 PM (#4652008)
That one always seemed like a bizarre combo. Though they could combine Nordic Combined and biathalon, maybe throw in a union jack parachute for the "James Bond Combined."

The James Pond Olympics I remember as being very fun. Though they couldn't hold a candle to the Caveman Games.
   12. Ulysses S. Fairsmith Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4652039)
The NBC website is going to stream every event live.
   13. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:06 PM (#4652045)
WaPo has a pretty hilarious stream of tweets from media members about the miserable hotel arrangements in Sochi, and the variety of issues related to the non-completion of said hotels.
   14. madvillain Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:15 PM (#4652053)
@ 13 despite my loathing of Putin's Russia I do enjoy a good pissed off journalist story, buncha cotton asses that they usually are.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: February 05, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4652090)
When I was a kid I was a fan of the Olympics. NBC's approach to coverage over the past 2 decades has gradually made me not care about it at all. Way too much noise and so little signal.
   16. bunyon Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4652099)
@15: Me too.

As for the poor journalists not being held in luxury. #### 'em. When I was a kid, sporting events were held in place where you prayed the lavatory wouldn't have a toilet seat so you'd be justified in not having to handle it/sit on it.
   17. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4652102)
WaPo has a pretty hilarious stream of tweets from media members about the miserable hotel arrangements in Sochi, and the variety of issues related to the non-completion of said hotels.


If your hotel doesn't have a lobby, you check in in the managers bedroom.
   18. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4652103)
As for the poor journalists not being held in luxury. #### 'em.


In the grand scheme of things, every right thinking citizen of western civilization should be rooting for nothing but the absolute, catastrophic failure of Putin's games.
   19. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4652104)

When I was a kid I was a fan of the Olympics. NBC's approach to coverage over the past 2 decades has gradually made me not care about it at all. Way too much noise and so little signal.


You can watch every event streaming, usually with minimal commentary. There's no reason to let their primetime production determine how you watch anymore.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:12 PM (#4652105)

if only Manhattan had gotten the Winter Olympics - this bobsled run rocks

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/02/04/sports/olympic-venues.html?smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

   21. madvillain Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4652108)
In the grand scheme of things, every right thinking citizen of western civilization should be rooting for nothing but the absolute, catastrophic failure of Putin's games.


Agree, Putin's Russia is disgusting on many levels. And let this be a warning to FIFA and Quatar as well.

As for the Journo's, they'll live, I just hope their critiques go beyond tweeting pictures of the hotel water.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4652111)
As for the poor journalists not being held in luxury. #### 'em.


Luxuries like working doorknobs, hot water, non-toxic water, walls without holes in them.

What is wrong with this totalitarian government? Why can't they be more efficient like the totalitarian government in China?
   23. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4652115)
I think the tandam toilets is the craziest thing I've ever seen actually built. How does someone not realize that it's a terrible idea?
   24. Srul Itza Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:42 PM (#4652120)
I used to be very much into the Olympics. Not so much any more. But I still enjoyed some of the events, particularly speed skating events, all of the skiing events (who still remembers that Wide World of Sports "agony of defeat" ski jumper failure?), luge and bobsled, and some others.

But I have to agree with Sam here, and fully endorse anything that causes damage to the Putin brand.

With one exception: One Munich was one too many.

I would expect a totalitarian regime to have the concept of extreme security measures down pat, but I will be holding my breath. Too many outdoor venues, too much ground, too many soft targets.
   25. madvillain Posted: February 05, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4652124)
but I will be holding my breath. Too many outdoor venues, too much ground, too many soft targets.


The setup, as I understand it, is very similar to London except even grander, there is an "inclusion zone" of security over 100 square miles that includes all the venues. Inside the zone both "silent" measures like sophisticated video and electronic surveillance will be employed, in addition to good old fashioned boots on the ground.

I think a suicide bombing is likely, but it won't be because the Russian's didn't try or were incompetent. As others have noted, holding the games in Sochi would be like holding the US Games in El Paso: it's an inherently unstable border area prone to security problems. Then again, maybe Russia even thinking they could pull off the games in Sochi is incompetent.

I would expect a totalitarian regime


Russia's an authoritarian based oligarchy which isn't much better, but they do have basic freedoms of press, movement, etc. That said, the FSB, the successor to the KGB, is ruthless and are quick to squash any "subversive" activity. Whatever the security outcome for the games, the FSB will have a large hand in it.
   26. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4652147)
In the grand scheme of things, every right thinking citizen of western civilization should be rooting for nothing but the absolute, catastrophic failure of Putin's games.


This is actually where Drudge becomes indispensible. His desire to latch on to and obsess over a certain storyline (Shark attacks, Jacko, whatever) is quite appreciated at times like this. He's definitely had a Putin fetish for years, and these games are right in his wheelhouse for following this debacle.
   27. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4652155)
What is wrong with this totalitarian government? Why can't they be more efficient like the totalitarian government in China?


Is there anything worse than a fascist regime that *doesn't* make the trains run on time?

Hopefully Sochi is the historical event where the world realizes that Vlad Putin is a pale, Orthodox, shirtless horseriding version of Robert Mugabe.
   28. steagles Posted: February 05, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4652163)
   29. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4652181)
In the grand scheme of things, every right thinking citizen of western civilization should be rooting for nothing but the absolute, catastrophic failure of Putin's games.


Without there having to be a terror attack, right?
I'd be fine with incompetent management, technical failures, controversial judging, traffic tie-ups, water/toilet hilarity...but I'd never wish for a terror attack on the Olympics.
   30. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4652188)
Without there having to be a terror attack, right?


See, you're putting me on the spot here. I'm not sure I can sign up for even that caveat. Putin's regime is functionally horrific. This is Putin's Russia. (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart). I'm not sure I am going to pick a side between Islamic neo-fascists and Russian Orthodox neo-fascists. I think I may be comfortable with a "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" mentality on this one. I recognize that I should be concerned for the athletes, journalists, visitors, innocent bystanders, etc. And at an academic level, I am. At least I try to be. But at a visceral, tribal, good guys vs bad guys monkey instinct level? I'm not sure there's anything that could happen to the Sochi games that I would really spill honest tears over, no.

EDIT: And the IOC knew this going in, so I have little goodwill towards them and "the Olympics" as an entity either.
   31. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:26 PM (#4652194)
It's the innocent athletes and spectators (especially family/friends of the competitors) that I don't want to see harmed in any way.
If there is a terror attack 50 miles from the Olympic site and it's just "Russians killing Russians", then I don't really count that.

As someone from Georgia, I would have thought that terror attacks at the Olympics would be something you could sympathize with the host nation about.
   32. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:31 PM (#4652195)
Georgia has it's problems. I don't like Nathan Deal very much. But we're not Putin's Russia. Again, I try to care academically, but I'm also trying to honestly answer your question, and Putin has so much personal dictatorship cred riding on this ########### of an event that there's very little that I can think of that I would consider "worse than Putin looking good."
   33. steagles Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4652198)
As someone from Georgia, I would have thought that terror attacks at the Olympics would be something you could sympathize with the host nation about.
speaking of, there was a pretty decent 30 for 30 about richard jewell on grantland
   34. Srul Itza Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4652211)
If there is a terror attack 50 miles from the Olympic site and it's just "Russians killing Russians", then I don't really count that.


Why not? I mean, if the attack were specifically targeted at Spetsnaz or Putin functionaries, all well and good. But that's not what happens. Mass transit hubs, markets, theaters -- these are the targets, and terrorist suicide bombers don't really give a damn about the ultimate body count or the political leanings of the victims. Your attitude is no different that those who blame all of America for drone attacks that cause "collateral damage", and use that to justify bombing a marathon.



   35. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:53 PM (#4652213)
See, you're putting me on the spot here. I'm not sure I can sign up for even that caveat. Putin's regime is functionally horrific. This is Putin's Russia. (WARNING: Not for the faint of heart). I'm not sure I am going to pick a side between Islamic neo-fascists and Russian Orthodox neo-fascists. I think I may be comfortable with a "kill 'em all, let God sort 'em out" mentality on this one. I recognize that I should be concerned for the athletes, journalists, visitors, innocent bystanders, etc. And at an academic level, I am. At least I try to be. But at a visceral, tribal, good guys vs bad guys monkey instinct level? I'm not sure there's anything that could happen to the Sochi games that I would really spill honest tears over, no.


Even from this perspective I don't think a terrorist attack at the games would be helpful towards creating a negative outlook on Putin. Yeah, he and the IOC would look like asses for holding the games close to a conflict area but I'm guessing the IOC would take the brunt of the heat on that one. A terror attack would likely just create sympathy for Russia, after all nobody is going to doubt that their security measures will be anything but tight, overbearing, excessive, and invasive.
   36. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 05, 2014 at 04:58 PM (#4652218)
Even from this perspective I don't think a terrorist attack at the games would be helpful towards creating a negative outlook on Putin. Yeah, he and the IOC would look like asses for holding the games close to a conflict area but I'm guessing the IOC would take the brunt of the heat on that one. A terror attack would likely just create sympathy for Russia, after all nobody is going to doubt that their security measures will be anything but tight, overbearing, excessive, and invasive.


I can buy into this logic. I oppose terrorist attacks at Sochi for the same reason I oppose dropping bombs on Tehran. It would make the locals kneejerk back into reactionary support of the asshats who we want to lose power.
   37. steagles Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4652227)
the most damaging thing for any autocratic dictator is becoming the butt end of a joke.

so...here's another toilet from sochi:
this one doesn't flush.
   38. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:19 PM (#4652239)
Why not? I mean, if the attack were specifically targeted at Spetsnaz or Putin functionaries, all well and good. But that's not what happens. Mass transit hubs, markets, theaters -- these are the targets, and terrorist suicide bombers don't really give a damn about the ultimate body count or the political leanings of the victims. Your attitude is no different that those who blame all of America for drone attacks that cause "collateral damage", and use that to justify bombing a marathon.


Woah. I think you are reading too much into what I said (and I agree that "Russians killing Russians" was poorly worded...I meant "not killing foreigners who are attending the Olympics")
I want the people who are attending the Olympics to be safe. I'd be happy if there are no terror attacks at all during the Olympics.

If something happens outside what could be considered the "Olympic area", then I don't consider that an "attack on the Olympics".

During the Salt Lake City Olympics, if there was a home made explosive that blew up a night club in Michigan (or Georgia or "not SLC"), then I wouldn't consider that an "attack on the Olympics".
   39. I am going to be Frank Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4652243)
Do you consider the killing a family member of a coach an "attack on the Olympics?"
   40. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 05, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4652249)
Do you consider the killing a family member of a coach an "attack on the Olympics?"

There was no indication that the assailant knew that his victims had any connection to the games. "For all intents, it appears to be a random attack by a deranged man,"


No, that isn't an "attack on the Olympics".
   41. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 05, 2014 at 06:11 PM (#4652278)
When I was a kid, sporting events were held in place where you prayed the lavatory wouldn't have a toilet seat so you'd be justified in not having to handle it/sit on it.

The ancient Olympics were held in the middle of nowhere, during the middle of the summer in a hot, shadeless, waterless plain. it was apparently pretty miserable. In his book about ancient travel, Lionel Casson mentions a story about a master who kept a slave in line by threatening to take him to the Olympics.
   42. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:14 PM (#4652317)
The NBC website is going to stream every event live.


...except the Opening Ceremonies, which begin at 11am EST on Friday. Too bad I don't live within range of Canadian TV anymore...
   43. Traderdave Posted: February 05, 2014 at 07:41 PM (#4652339)
I used to have an office in a building in which one of the other tenants was a restaurant. The restaurant had a separate bathroom for customers but the crew was assigned to the hallway lav, which I used as well.

My day starts early, approx. 5AM, and I would frequently run into the night crew as they finished cleaning, organizing etc. Invariably the bathroom's wastebasket would be pulled over to the toilet away from the sink where it normally stayed, and invariably it was full of the most disgusting, revolting #### covered TP. I used to think they were just ignorant barbarians, after reading this I now surmise they simply came from a culture of low water pressure.

I never ate at that restaurant.
   44. puck Posted: February 05, 2014 at 09:45 PM (#4652404)
so...here's another toilet from sochi:
this one doesn't flush.


I visited southern China about 5 years ago, I don't remember the town but it was prob about 30 minutes outside Shenzhen. Some places had western style toilets but they didn't have all the plumbing hooked up. The drain was hooked up, but you'd fill a bucket from a spigot on the wall and pour it into the toilet to flush it.
   45. theboyqueen Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:03 AM (#4652474)
As others have noted, holding the games in Sochi would be like holding the US Games in El Paso: it's an inherently unstable border area prone to security problems.


What is this about? El Paso is the safest large city in the country by crime stats. Number two is San Diego.

By unstable border town, perhaps you mean Detroit?
   46. Greg K Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:25 AM (#4652486)
By unstable border town, perhaps you mean Detroit?

I'm picturing the Winter Olympics being held in Detroit in 2022 and some bizarro-Fenians crossing over from Windsor, hoping to hold Michigan hostage to secure the independence of Hawaii.

Actually, I haven't seen the new Robocop movie yet, maybe that is the plot.
   47. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:01 AM (#4652492)
The Olympics are on RIGHT NOW!

Watching the NBC stream, looks pretty great. That slopestyle course looks terrifying, I can understand why some competitors were irritated. I also feel really bad for the people getting eliminated even before the opening ceremonies.

eta: this schedule is pretty handy. http://www.sportsinteraction.com/2014-sochi-schedule-results/
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:34 AM (#4652495)
I'm picturing the Winter Olympics being held in Detroit in 2022 and some bizarro-Fenians crossing over from Windsor, hoping to hold Michigan hostage to secure the independence of Hawaii.

My worry is that one day Canadian Prime Minister Rob Ford will invade Detroit to seize the Stanley Cup after a controversial call aids the Red Wings in a Game 7 overtime victory over the Maple Leafs.
   49. JE (Jason) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:45 AM (#4652499)
I thought it would be a treat to go use these familiar toilets from time to time, but the seats were usually covered in dirty footprints, because the locals were using them as they would the squat toilets. Which seems dangerous.

I just removed "teaching English in Northeast Thailand" from my bucket list.
   50. JE (Jason) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:56 AM (#4652501)
they do have basic freedoms of press

Seriously?

An excerpt from Freedom House's 2013 report:
The already repressive press freedom environment in Russia declined even further with Vladimir Putin’s return to the presidency in 2012, as authorities relied on both crude and sophisticated forms of media management to distract the public from terrorist attacks, economic troubles, and antigovernment protests. The government maintained its grip on key television outlets and tightened controls over the internet during the year, and most state and privately owned mass media engaged in blatant propaganda that glorified the country’s national leaders and fostered an image of political pluralism—especially in the months ahead of Putin’s victory in the March presidential election.

Although the constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press, officials have used the country’s politicized and corrupt court system to harass the few remaining independent journalists who dare to criticize widespread abuses by the authorities. The constitution and a 2009 law provide for freedom of information, but accessing information related to government bodies, the judiciary, or via government websites is extremely difficult in practice. Russian law contains a broad definition of extremism that authorities frequently use to silence government critics, including journalists; the enforcement of this and other restrictive legal provisions has encouraged self-censorship.
   51. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 06, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4652520)
Someone else would have to pay for it, but Detroit is one of the few US cities that would really benefit from hosting the Olympics. The hoopla and infrastructure (tearing down crap, building something, anything new) would all be a huge help to them. It would never happen, but it would help them - unlike most O Games which are ridiculously expensive boondoggles for the host city - like publically sponsored stadiums for billionaire owners, but worse.
   52. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:23 AM (#4652532)
My worry is that one day Canadian Prime Minister Rob Ford will invade Detroit to seize the Stanley Cup after a controversial call aids the Red Wings in a Game 7 overtime victory over the Maple Leafs.


At least if you're going to be making some wild stuff up, keep it in the realm of even remotely possible.

The Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup finals? Come on!


/sad life-long Leafs fan
   53. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4652560)
Slopestyle Skiing venue.

Plenty of seats for slopestyle
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4652562)
I really have to sit down and get my DVR all programmed for the Olympics. Zooming through the crap to see actual sports is the only way to watch the Olympics.

I wouldn't watch the Olympics for pretty much anything, but navigating through all the BS and commercials on Super Bowl Sunday should have gotten you in shape for Sochi.
   55. Gamingboy Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4652580)
The Olympics! Simultaneously the greatest and worst sporting event in the world! Greatest, in what happens between the lines... and worst... by what happens outside of them.
   56. bunyon Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:07 PM (#4652646)
I want the people who are attending the Olympics to be safe. I'd be happy if there are no terror attacks at all during the Olympics.

Here's the thing. Putin and his regime are evil. I have some sympathy with those fighting him even if, in a sane world, I'd think them dangerous criminals who should be locked away. Even though we all know who and what Putin is, the IOC gave him a chance to show off on the world stage and gain prominence. Every member country of the IOC tacitly agreed as have the news media and athletes. Not to put too fine a point on it, if there is to be a terrorist attack - I sincerely hope there isn't - I'd rather see it happen at and to the Olympics rather than a bunch of almost third world families no one thinks about 100 miles away.


As to Canada making a play for Detroit; we let them have it, don't we?
   57. steagles Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4652658)
i'm not gonna highlight anything here, but when you see it, enjoy!

Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations, reflected the view held among many Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi's big debut out of bias against Russia. "We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms
   58. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 06, 2014 at 01:56 PM (#4652668)
Even though we all know who and what Putin is, the IOC gave him a chance to show off on the world stage and gain prominence. build infrastructure by which to quickly move troops and equipment to within 20 miles of the Georgian border.
   59. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4652679)
Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi's big debut out of bias against Russia. "We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said


I know, the '80 boycott didn't work, we need to try some other tact to display our loathing of Mother Russia.
   60. Squash Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4652706)
Dmitry Kozak, the deputy prime minister responsible for the Olympic preparations, reflected the view held among many Russian officials that some Western visitors are deliberately trying to sabotage Sochi's big debut out of bias against Russia. "We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said. An aide then pulled a reporter away before Mr. Kozak could be questioned further on surveillance in hotel rooms

There's also apparently massive hacking going on of every internet-enabled device from pretty much the second you get off the plane. If this Olympics isn't final proof that the IOC is the most corrupt organization in the world (with a strong second place finish by FIFA), and will sell the Games to pretty much anyone as long as you bribe the hell out of them, I don't know what is.
   61. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4652716)
If this Olympics isn't final proof that the IOC is the most corrupt organization in the world (with a strong second place finish by FIFA), and will sell the Games to pretty much anyone as long as you bribe the hell out of them, I don't know what is.


FIFA isn't going to take this lying down.
   62. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4652731)
I think part of the shock with regard to how bad Sochi is comes down to a sort of ingrained belief in Americans that Russia is a modern, advanced nation. They were the bad guys during the Cold War. They were the competitors from the space race to the arms race. They *must* be an equivalent technologically advanced nation as the US, right? Americans don't really seem to grok that outside of *maybe* Moscow, Russia is a backwater.
   63. Squash Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4652748)
I think in general as Americans we don't realize how under-developed most nations are compared to us. Things generally "work" here (lights, roads, plumbing, tax-exempt municipal bonds) - in most countries around the world, including many we consider our peers in terms of development, they don't.
   64. The Good Face Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4652753)
I think part of the shock with regard to how bad Sochi is comes down to a sort of ingrained belief in Americans that Russia is a modern, advanced nation. They were the bad guys during the Cold War. They were the competitors from the space race to the arms race. They *must* be an equivalent technologically advanced nation as the US, right? Americans don't really seem to grok that outside of *maybe* Moscow, Russia is a backwater.


Many of the english-speaking Russians I've known have a sort of verbal shrug, "Because of Russia" (or something substantially similar) that they'll employ whenever they're explaining/describing any ####-up, SNAFU, or hilariously terribad situation involving Russia or Russians. It's a sort of resigned, dark humor that comes with a heaping helping of fatalism, almost an invocation of their country/nationality as a proxy for entropy. If they're remotely representative of the "Russian Soul," it's easy to see why the place is so damn shambolic.
   65. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4652762)

I think part of the shock with regard to how bad Sochi is comes down to a sort of ingrained belief in Americans that Russia is a modern, advanced nation.


I don't think shock has anything to do with it. It's a cheap way to write a "boy, these foreigners are sure stupid, aren't they? America #### yeah!" article.
   66. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:00 PM (#4652763)
"We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day," he said.


"Would you like a bugged room or an unbugged room." "I would prefer a bugged room."
   67. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:07 PM (#4652766)
apparently Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz didn't get the sabotage memo, he's tweeted glowing comments about his accomodations, acknowledging some of his peers aren't so fortunate.
   68. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4652767)
I don't think it's a "laugh at the foreigners" thing. It didn't happen that much around Beijing and I doubt it will happen regarding Brazil. I think it's much more that we consider Russia to not be an international joke.

And I'm all for Russia falling flat on their face given what evil ####### they have for rulers, anything that makes Putin look terrible makes me happy. I am very much hoping that only extends to looking like a hapless bunch of schmucks, and that no one gets hurt from shoddy engineering or security.

What a ####### waste of money. 50+ billion dollars!
   69. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4652772)
I think in general as Americans we don't realize how under-developed most nations are compared to us. Things generally "work" here (lights, roads, plumbing, tax-exempt municipal bonds)


Well just imagine how much better they'd work if government got the hell out of the way!
   70. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4652823)
I think in general as Americans we don't realize how under-developed most nations are compared to us. Things generally "work" here (lights, roads, plumbing, tax-exempt municipal bonds)


Always reminds me of my Dad's tales of visiting Gabon, in the late 70s and saying 'you can tell when they gained their independence from the French, they haven't mowed the lawns since then.'
   71. bunyon Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4652858)
My wife had a chance to tour the world a bit several years ago. She told some crazy stories of Russia - as Sam says, Moscow, at least the parts she saw, was a wonderful, modern city. The rest had great people (really, she loved it) but was really undeveloped, which came as a big surprise to the group for pretty much the reasons Sam says. Still, she had a great time in Russia and wouldn't mind going back.

Asked about her few days in Belarus; "We don't talk about Belarus," was her reply.
   72. Gamingboy Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:07 PM (#4652994)
It appears the NBC set for Costas is located in either the Fortress of Solitude or the castle from "Frozen". Not sure which.
   73. Kurt Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:11 AM (#4653019)
What is going on with Costas' eyes?
   74. tshipman Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:32 AM (#4653021)
apparently Indy Star columnist Bob Kravitz didn't get the sabotage memo would appreciate the safe return of his family


If I were a sports/entertainment reporter, I would wait to tweet until I got home.
   75. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4653022)
Little known fact: before he was known only for Olympics coverage and pontificating at halftime of football games, Bob Costas was once a popular baseball play-by-play man.
   76. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 07, 2014 at 01:14 AM (#4653030)
My son spent six weeks in Russia this past summer, living with a host family in a town about an hour outside St. Petersburg. Life there wasn't up to American standards, but he didn't have many horror stories either. His host dad sent an awfully nice bottle of Armenian cognac home as a gift for me, which was nice.

Our favorite anecdote was the lesson they learned before leaving - that Russians would warn you about going outside with your hair wet, as that would cause meningitis.
   77. Darkness and the howling fantods Posted: February 07, 2014 at 01:51 AM (#4653032)
FIFA isn't going to take this lying down.
I think FIFA is being underrated here. The only reason more people aren't upset that the 2018 World Cup is in Russia is because they made that decision look relatively sane by selecting Qatar for 2022.
   78. Gamingboy Posted: February 07, 2014 at 01:55 AM (#4653033)
What is going on with Costas' eyes?


Infection/Pink-Eye. Or maybe he just used the Sochi water while taking a shower.
   79. PreservedFish Posted: February 07, 2014 at 03:21 AM (#4653039)
I think part of the shock with regard to how bad Sochi is comes down to a sort of ingrained belief in Americans that Russia is a modern, advanced nation. They were the bad guys during the Cold War.

I think in general as Americans we don't realize how under-developed most nations are compared to us.


Isn't it also because Russia is ... full of white people? I don't think everyone would expect perfectly modern facilities in Asia or Africa.
   80. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 07, 2014 at 03:30 AM (#4653041)
sadly I expect at least one death from a badly built course or venue
   81. spike Posted: February 07, 2014 at 04:31 AM (#4653043)
nm
   82. JE (Jason) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 05:31 AM (#4653046)
What is going on with Costas' eyes?

Apparently, it happens when going to the bathroom in Sochi. Your right eye focuses on the left toilet in the stall while the left gravitates toward the right. Nothing's quite right afterward.
   83. Kurt Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:02 AM (#4653063)
Infection/Pink-Eye. Or maybe he just used the Sochi water while taking a shower.


Yeah, I figured it was pinkeye in one eye, but it's the other eye that's really unsettling. It's enormous - like a cartoon character looking through a magnifying glass.
   84. Kurt Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:06 AM (#4653066)
Isn't it also because Russia is ... full of white people? I don't think everyone would expect perfectly modern facilities in Asia or Africa.


People expect reasonably modern facilities in places that are awarded the Olympic games, like Beijing. There are places in the US that aren't entirely modern too, but we don't host the Games in rural West Virginia or Arkansas.
   85. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:08 AM (#4653068)
It's enormous - like a cartoon character looking through a magnifying glass.


Like this guy?
   86. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4653079)
There's also apparently massive hacking going on of every internet-enabled device from pretty much the second you get off the plane.


It's not really true.
   87. Random Transaction Generator Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:46 AM (#4653080)
sadly I expect at least one death from a badly built course or venue


Dude, this isn't Canada.

   88. JE (Jason) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4653093)
Regarding Costas:
With all the talk of problems leading up to the Sochi Games, Americans saw a familiar Olympics face looking a tad unfortunate in the opening minutes of NBC's first primetime broadcast. Costas, our venerable host, has what appears to be pink eye. Talk about your #SochiProblems.

After welcoming the TV audience, Costas was quick to address his very obvious eye affliction. He woke up to discover his eye was swollen shut and "just about as red as the old Soviet flag," he said. He didn't directly say he had pink eye, but he nailed the simile.

"According to NBC doctors here, it's some kind of minor infection which should resolve itself by the weekend," Costas said, while explaining that he'll be wearing glasses for the next few days.

Additional Sochi fun may be found here.
   89. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:50 AM (#4653122)
Our favorite anecdote was the lesson they learned before leaving - that Russians would warn you about going outside with your hair wet, as that would cause meningitis.


Also, if you're a lady, sitting on cold stone (like outdoor steps, or monuments) will make you sterile.
   90. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4653125)
Our favorite anecdote was the lesson they learned before leaving - that Russians would warn you about going outside with your hair wet, as that would cause meningitis.


My grandmother, a first-generation American of Russian extraction, used to tell me the same thing when I was a kid. In fact I bet she'd tell me the same thing today if she saw me daring to venture outside in cold weather with a wet head.
   91. ASmitty Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4653167)
They were the competitors from the space race to the arms race. They *must* be an equivalent technologically advanced nation as the US, right? Americans don't really seem to grok that outside of *maybe* Moscow, Russia is a backwater.


A friend of my father is a Cold-War era Russion who came to the US after hostilities died down. He told me a story one time about how during the Kitchen Debate between Nixon and Khrushchev, sets had been set-up to show a typical Russian kitchen and a typical American kitchen. In designing the US set, the American designers used fixtures that were available in some baseline percentage of American homes, which led to a relatively realistic set for the American viewers. The Russian set, on the otrher hand, was designed to basically look like the American set, despite the fact that basically no Russians had any of those fixtures in their homes.

The upshot, my father's friend said, was that American viewers saw the sets and implicitly believed that the Russians were as well off in some respects as Americans, since American viewers could relate to the authenticity of the American set, and assumed the Russian set was authentic as well. Russian viewers, however, saw the sets and figured that Americans must be just as poorly off as Russians, since they saw the Russian set was a ridiculous fantasy set, and assumed the American set was equally fraudulent.

   92. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:20 PM (#4653183)
People expect reasonably modern facilities in places that are awarded the Olympic games, like Beijing. There are places in the US that aren't entirely modern too, but we don't host the Games in rural West Virginia or Arkansas.

This is the thing.

I spent several weeks in Lithuania and Estonia and never saw any toilets incapable of flushing toilet paper. We actually ran out of cold water a couple times, and had to hang-dry our clothes, and the oven was almost impossible to use, and there were very few streetlights and road markings, and other non-luxuries, but these toilet issues seem weird.

There are actual winter sports resorts in Russia with actual accommodations for visitors. This is all so stupid.
   93. Bitter Mouse Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4653186)
There are actual winter sports resorts in Russia with actual accommodations for visitors. This is all so stupid.


I heard rumors that much of the reason it is here is organized crime based, but I have not followed the story and have zero idea if that is true or not.
   94. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4653207)
   95. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 01:55 PM (#4653267)
So the US just sent a F-16 into Russian airspace to escort a plane to Turkey because of something a passenger said/threatened to do?
   96. puck Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:05 PM (#4653275)
"Have that ring killed."


No spoilers! (Kidding. At least the rings weren't brown?)
   97. Swedish Chef Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:10 PM (#4653279)
I heard rumors that much of the reason it is here is organized crime based, but I have not followed the story and have zero idea if that is true or not.

Only if by organized crime you mean the government and their cronies in business, which isn't unreasonable.
   98. Swedish Chef Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4653287)
There are actual winter sports resorts in Russia with actual accommodations for visitors.

Nothing that can remotely handle the Olympics, building from scratch isn't that stupid. The corruption on the other hand. In a way it's pretty strange that Putin can't leash his friends a smidgen, say only rake off a modest 30% for themselves, that kind of thing. Failing to do that makes him look weak, and Putin usually doesn't like looking weak.
   99. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4653302)
Nothing that can remotely handle the Olympics, building from scratch isn't that stupid. The corruption on the other hand. In a way it's pretty strange that Putin can't leash his friends a smidgen, say only rake off a modest 30% for themselves, that kind of thing. Failing to do that makes him look weak, and Putin usually doesn't like looking weak.


Two things. First, I'll repeat the point that building out Sochi is about the geopolitics of reclaiming the "rogue provinces" of northern Georgia as much as it is about sports. Sochi is literally 25 miles away from the Georgian border. Prior to this, there was no infrastructure to move large scale troops into the region quickly. Now there is.

Second, if you're a Russian builder, you know that Sochi is Putin's pet project. Sochi is to Putin as those palaces were to Saddam. You know there's nothing he wants more than to build and build and build and build. So you milk it doubly.
   100. Gamingboy Posted: February 07, 2014 at 04:27 PM (#4653375)
Re: Overestimating other countries, especially rivals. Reminds me of how TV talking heads talk about how China is going to eat the West's lunch yet forget that outside of the cities China is in many respects still a 3rd world country that has a GDP per capita that is only like an 8th of the USA's.
Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 4 5 > 

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Id of SugarBear Blanks
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogAdam Dunn, 34, calls it a career
(111 - 12:54pm, Oct 02)
Last: alilisd

NewsblogLEAGUE DIVISION SERIES 2014 DAY ONE OMNICHATTER
(25 - 12:54pm, Oct 02)
Last: Pat Rapper's Delight

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(226 - 12:51pm, Oct 02)
Last: Lassus

NewsblogKovacevic: For Pirates, the sickening sound of silence DK on Pittsburgh Sports
(34 - 12:47pm, Oct 02)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(495 - 12:47pm, Oct 02)
Last: Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun)

NewsblogBaseball Will Test Out Six New Rules To Speed Up The Game
(71 - 12:47pm, Oct 02)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogThe Baseball Show with Rany Jazayerli and Joe Sheehan - 9/29/14
(17 - 12:43pm, Oct 02)
Last: Alex meets the threshold for granular review

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(40 - 12:40pm, Oct 02)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogFor old fans of Senators, Washington baseball success is a contradiction in terms
(4 - 12:17pm, Oct 02)
Last: Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-2-2014
(4 - 12:13pm, Oct 02)
Last: Der-K and the statistical werewolves.

NewsblogA’s wild swing of a season ends in wild-card loss to Royals
(40 - 11:50am, Oct 02)
Last: WSPanic

NewsblogLinkedIn: 10 Sales Lessons From “The Captain”
(25 - 10:06am, Oct 02)
Last: Batman

NewsblogWSJ: Playoff Hateability Index
(40 - 9:57am, Oct 02)
Last: Omineca Greg

NewsblogBP: 2014 Internet Baseball Awards
(4 - 8:20am, Oct 02)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogDog eats baseball playoff tickets
(8 - 2:59am, Oct 02)
Last: RollingWave

Page rendered in 1.0431 seconds
53 querie(s) executed