Monday, August 25, 2008

The Real Medal Count

Now that the Olympics have ended and I don't have to heed to the Olympic spirit of goodwill, I feel it is my duty to do a little complaining on the lop-sided judging in Beijing. I found this article that expressed my same sentiments and although I don't want judged medals not to count, it is something to think, laugh or cry about. The last option is for the USA gymnasts that got ROBBED!

The REAL Olympic medal count
By Chris Chase

Look, I don't know much about gymnastics, but I do know that landing a vault on two feet is better than landing one on two knees. Olympic gymnastics judges evidently disagree with me, as they awarded China's Cheng Fei a bronze medal yesterday even after she fell on her vault landing. American Alicia Sacramone finished fourth despite, you know, not falling.

And today, 12-year old-oops-16-year old Chinese gymnast He Kexin won gold over Nastia Liukin based on an obscure tiebreaking rule. The two received the same score from the judges, but He won a tiebreak because an Australian judge apparently was watching a different competition.

Every judging break seems to have gone China's way during these Olympics. I'm not suggesting a conspiracy, I just think that judges are humans who are influenced by big names, fans and other external factors. Oh, and they're also terrible. Judged events will always be viewed with skepticism by those who lose for this reason, particularly those who lose to a member of the home delegation. (Think Roy Jones Jr. at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.)

It is because of this skewed inconsistency that Fourth-Place Medal introduces The Real 2008 Medal Count. Our medal count will tally medals won in sports decided on the field of play, not by a judge in a teal blazer.

The judged Olympic events we will ignore for our tally are: boxing, diving, equestrian, gymnastics, judo, taekwondo, trampoline and wrestling. We debated whether to include boxing, wrestling and the martial arts in the list, as they can be decided by competitors. However, because the judging is prone to error and shenaningans, we will include it.

The Real 2008 Medal Count

China: 22 gold; 11 silver; 11 bronze

United States: 21 gold; 19 silver; 21 bronze

As you can see, in the events where medals are determined by competitors rather than judges, the gold medal gap between China and the U.S. is greatly narrowed, and the total medal count is an American runaway. Counting the judged events, China has a commanding lead in golds. Hmmm... Nope, nothing fishy about that!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Left Hand Appreciation Day

It was brought to my attention that today is Left Hand Appreciation Day. Although, I wasn't quite sure if that meant we were supposed to give appreciation to our left hands, I decided to opt for recognizing my two favorite left handers.

Yes, I may tease him that he eats slow because of a left handed handicap, but I am thankful for this left hand that makes me dinner almost every night and works so hard to support our little family.

Okay, so he stole my milk at the dinner table (if you have a left hander in your family, you know what I'm talking about) but his left hand not only put a roof over my head growing up, but also delivered me into this world. Pretty Cool! I know they make fun targets, but I hope everyone will give their left handers a little love today. After all, it's twice as hard for them to do anything!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Like Peas and Carrots Again

A few months ago I had the crazy idea that I should plant a garden. As most of you know, I live in an apartment. Therfore, the garden is located at a friends house who has a little exta land he was kind enough to let me use. The day I planted my garden it was super hot and my friends water was shut off because of a broken pipe. I was pretty sure everything was going to die or just never start to grow. I said I would be happy and consider the garden a success if even one thing grew. Well today is my lucky day. I got two things to grow. A pea pod and a carrot. Bear had the carrot for dinner and I had the pea. Though small in stature, they were mighty in taste. There are many things I still don't know about gardening, like how to tell if something is ready to be picked if it is underground, or why food exposed to human feces contains diseases, but it's perfectly acceptable to cover your garden in horse manure. (I try not to think about the last one too hard.) The one thing I do know about gardening is it is extra satisfying to eat food you grow yourself! I can't wait to have my own yard, so I don't have to DRIVE to my garden.