EppsNet Archive: Olympics

Olympics Update

8 Aug 2016 /

I think the Chinese have an unfair advantage in the synchronized diving because they all look exactly alike. 😮

Pictograms of Olympic sports - Diving


Why Gun Control Can’t Be Solved

23 Jun 2016 /

On average, Democrats use guns for shooting the innocent. We call that crime.

On average, Republicans use guns for sporting purposes and self-defense. . . .

So it seems to me that gun control can’t be solved because Democrats are using guns to kill each other – and want it to stop – whereas Republicans are using guns to defend against Democrats. . . . Democrats are unlikely to talk Republicans out of gun ownership because it comes off as “Put down your gun so I can shoot you.”

 

Good points.

The NRA gets a bad rap in some circles but you never hear of an NRA member going out and shooting random people.

Meanwhile, Democratic constituencies are shooting each other like the Olympic Games of murder, which for some reason leads their representatives in Congress to insist that Republicans should have to give up on gun ownership.


On This Day

19 Jul 2015 /
A Hospital Corpsman attached to the 3rd Battal...

A Hospital Corpsman attached to the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines operating in Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On July 19, 1980, the Summer Olympics began in Moscow with dozens of nations boycotting because of Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan.

Thirty-five years later, there’s still a war going on in Afghanistan, so you can see what a shrewd foreign policy move that was.


Louis Zamperini, 1917-2014

3 Jul 2014 /

The Hardest Available Challenge

22 Feb 2014 /

One of my colleagues at work has a son in 6th grade. She’s trying to figure out which math class to put him in for 7th grade.

Yuna Kim

Working backward, we know that “normal” kids take Algebra I in 9th grade, the smarter kids take Algebra I in 8th grade, and the smartest kids take Algebra I in 7th grade. Placement depends on how a kid scores on the math placement test.

My co-worker’s concern is if her kid gets a top score on the placement test and he’s eligible to take Algebra I in 7th grade, does she want him to do that, or to wait till 8th grade?

If he takes Algebra I in 7th grade, that would mean he’d be taking the hardest math classes all through high school. Would it be better from a college admission standpoint to take easier classes and get all A’s, or take the hardest classes and maybe get a B+?

Our kid has already been through the Irvine schools. He’s in college now so I can answer questions like this with the benefit of experience.

“I like to see kids push themselves to take the hardest challenge available,” I said. “Colleges are not impressed with kids who get A’s in easy classes.”

“But what if he takes hard classes and gets a B+?” she asked.

“My advice is, don’t get a B+.”

If your kid takes hard classes in high school and gets B’s in them, he or she may not be able to attend a top university, but it wasn’t their destiny to attend a top university. Your kid is not that kind of a kid.

 

That reminds me . . . Olympic figure skating is on TV this week. Are you watching it? Neither am I, but I’ve heard that some of the skaters actually fall down during their program.

They’re supposed to be the best skaters in the world. Even I could go out there and skate around for a few minutes without falling down. Granted, I couldn’t do any spins or jumps or skate backwards or anything like that.

The point is that to be recognized as the best at something, you can’t just do easy things well. You have to risk doing things that are hard to do. In the skating scenario, it’s not enough to say “I didn’t fall on my ass.” No, you didn’t, but you didn’t even try to do anything hard.

In any endeavor, you won’t impress people of discernment simply by avoiding anything that might give you some difficulty. Step up to the challenge.


Interview Tips: You’re a 10 in Everything

19 Sep 2013 /
Nadia Comaneci

Nadia Comaneci, 1976 Olympics, Montreal

One of my least favorite interview questions goes something like this:

On a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on [insert personal attribute here].

This is a bad question because while some quantities – speed, weight, temperature, earthquake magnitude – do have an agreed-upon scale of measurement, personal attributes like, say, leadership, do not.

Person A might give himself a 10 in leadership, while a third party might say, “Oh, I know that guy. He’s a 3.”

You might be tempted to answer like this: “I consider myself a good leader, better than most, but I’m humbled by the challenges of leadership, and I’m always learning something new, so I’ll give myself an 8.”

Absent any information about how that number is going to be used, I’d say that’s a pretty good answer. It’s honest and reflective.

BUT — the question itself is so misguided that I don’t expect someone asking it to use the answer in an intelligent way. I expect the asker of “rate yourself” questions to take the answers at face value, write them down and then do one of two things, maybe both:

  1. Compare the answers to some meaningless threshold. Ooh, we really need someone who’s at least a 9 in leadership.
  2. Compare the answers with the answers of other candidates. Candidate A is an 8, Candidate B is an 9 and Candidate C is a 10. Advantage, Candidate C.

Just play it safe and give yourself a 10 on everything.

The only reason I can come up with to give yourself less than a 10 on any attribute is the remote possibility that the interviewer could discount a candidate giving all 10s as being lacking in self-awareness, but no one asking me “rate yourself” questions has ever struck me as being that subtle.


Mac Wilkins: What The Discus Can Teach You About Life

28 Aug 2012 /
Modern copy of Myron's Discobolus in Universit...

Modern copy of Myron’s Discobolus in University of Copenhagen Botanical Garden, Denmark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deadspin has an excellent “as told to” story on former Olympic discus thrower Mac Wilkins (What The Discus Can Teach You About Life: Lessons From One Of America’s Greatest Throwers)

Wilkins made four straight U.S. Olympic teams, winning a gold medal in 1976, a silver in 1984, and finishing fifth in 1988. He was also the first man to throw the discus more than 70 meters, and he held the world record for over two years, bettering his own mark three times between April 1976 and August 1978.

Some excerpts:

So one day I go out to train and I say, Oh, what the heck. Let’s just give it a little extra effort today. And I did, and I got better and it went farther. And I thought that was kind of fun. What if I could that again tomorrow? And so pretty soon, I’m hooked on, Can I do it better today? And it was fun. I knew I could get better and I enjoyed it.

It was all about, There are no limits. There are no limits. I have no restrictions. I have no inhibitions. And you can achieve anything that you set your mind to. There are no limits.

I thought that the [1980 Olympic] boycott was a stupid thing to do. We continued to sell wheat to Russia. We continued to sell Pepsi to Russia. We bought vodka from Russia. It was business as usual except for the Olympic Games. And, of course, we only boycotted after we won the ice hockey game in Lake Placid that year. So I thought it was very naïve, and I was very disappointed because I really liked Jimmy Carter. And there’s still a war in Afghanistan, even to this day. So it didn’t do anything.

Is there a moral to the story? Well, probably.

I have so many, so many times when I would fall down or fail. Being a teacher/coach, I have to be … well, it’s exactly like being a parent. You have to be a better person than you really are.


Yes We Can!

28 Oct 2009 /

KABUL – Roadside bombs — the biggest killer of U.S. soldiers — claimed eight more American lives Tuesday, driving the U.S. death toll to a record level for the third time in four months as President Barack Obama nears a decision on a new strategy for the troubled war.

Obama at the Movies

We know what you’re thinking, but this is not Obama’s fault. Afghanistan is someone else’s mess, so why don’t you grab a mop? . . .

After all, [Obama] has a busy schedule, what with golf games and pitching the International Olympic Committee and date nights and Democratic fund-raisers and health care and the U.N. Security Council and Sunday morning talk shows and saving the planet from global warming and celebrating the dog’s birthday and defending himself against Fox News and all.


Twitter: 2009-10-02

2 Oct 2009 /
  • http://bit.ly/2djWf1 via @TheOnion – Federal Judge Rules Parker Brothers Holds Monopoly Monopoly #
  • I just poured hot coffee in my shoe. No, not on purpose. Yes, it was on my foot at the time. #
  • RT @Aimee_B_Loved: I think Chicago needs a hug. #
  • Man bites dog biting dog: http://bit.ly/i9fhA #news #

Watching Olympic Women’s Weightlifting with a 10th Grader

17 Aug 2008 /

“These women look worse than the Australian basketball team,” the boy says.

“Some of them would be cute,” I say, “if they lost about 150 pounds.”

An eHarmony commercial comes on . . .

We prescreen candidates for compatibility . . .

“Good,” the boy says, “because I don’t want to date any women weightlifters.”


Watching Olympic Women’s Basketball with a 10th Grader

16 Aug 2008 /
Suzy Batkovic

The Australian team has some rather unfortunate-looking women on the roster . . .

“Crikey!” the boy says. “Wot an oy-sore!”


Watching Olympic Equestrian with a 10th Grader

16 Aug 2008 /

“Dum dee dum dee dum. Let’s go for a pony ride!”