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Monday, 01 March 2010


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"Is Former Captain Kirk really one of the Most Famous Canadians? Really?"

From a U.S. perspective? Yeah.

"They couldn't get Jane Siberry? Or Fawnia Mondey?"

Who are they?

(Seriously, never heard of either of them)


Don't you know that sports scores are inversely proportional to the size of the goal? Compare basketball and soccer (a.k.a. 'football' in the rest of the world).

Hockey needs smaller nets if they want higher scores.

Er..Mike, thanks for posting that SNL performance by Neil. KILLLLER.

I remember watching that live with my wife..She, much more of a Funk fan, Was going nuts..That was one of those moments where things just kicked right in and stayed there for Neil..playing with a couple of strangers and cubes to the wall..awesome. I watched it twice..loud and then louder.

Yeah, hockey is our game all right. My neighborhood here in Vancouver was a riot zone yesterday after Sidney Crosby's winning goal.

Can't wait to see what project you've been working on, Mike. Missed you all weekend.

"I will be off until Monday morning in order to put in some work on a photo-related project."

"I spent the entire weekend watching the Olympics."

Ha, ha....well, at least you didn't run into the boss with your fishing pole in hand while you were home with the 'flu'.

One of the things I dislike most in the Olympics is making it into a spectacle of nationalism, with an "American Team" and so forth.

Especially since it's so artificial; at least one of the Canadian women's hockey team players normally plays for the University of Minnesota. And lots of people emigrate to a country where they can be supported in their sport to be on that country's olympic team. It's as weird as the pretense that they were "amateurs" for all those years.

I couldn't find nearly enough video of the ski jumping online.

Mostly I'm anti-sport, or at least opposed to the cult of sport celebrity. Sometimes the Olympics manage to cut through that for me, though.

Heh! Don't forget London in 2012 Mike.

I don't know. In the morning, these athletes (aka hockey players), must go back to their real work; they'll walk into the dressing rooms, some of their team mates will have gold medals, some silver, some bronze, and some none.

It, really, is the luck of the draw, the flip of the dice.

As a Canadian, yeah, way to go team Canada. But lets face it, I don't own a TV, barely know the rules of Hockey (shh!), and what right do I have to participate in the success of one hockey team over another? What part do I get to play in the winning team celebrations?

It makes you think - at least it makes *me* think.

PS - I own a canoe, and use it. :-) JohnS

"'I will be off until Monday morning in order to put in some work on a photo-related project.' 'I spent the entire weekend watching the Olympics.' Ha, ha..."

I actually got a lot of work done on my project too. I put in about ten hours since Thursday and I feel like I got a crucial toehold on it. It was just kind of stuck and I needed a push to get it rolling. Hopefully I can keep it going now.

I don't want to talk about what it is because I don't want anyone out there to steal my idea.


Even though I don't watch Hockey that much I feel as a Canadian I must defend it. In normal games the USA Canada game was a little low scoring. On average a game is usually around 4 or 5 goals to win it. USA's Miller whose outstanding performance was a big reason for a lower scoring game. But If you think that is low scoring then lets compare it to NFL. In the NFL you get scores like 17-21 some times higher sometimes lower but in normal terms the team with 21 points has really only scored 3 times. Football has the greatest balance of Defensive and offensive play, Basketball is just all offense and is missing the defensive element of a game. But we shouldn't forget the real Importance of the Olympics, and that is new cameras and big white lenses. This is after all a photo blog. To any one who is not Canadian, Sorry (of course) for some parts of the closing ceremonies we are not usually that lame and our humor is a lot better. Michael J Fox is a hero though and any one who doesn't know him look him up. He demonstrates what it is to be Canadian for his strength, will and determination.

Nice post Mike, and thanks for recognizing Tom Brokaw's story about the plane people in Gander. I was born in raised in Canada, but moved to Colorado 17 years ago (and I've been here ever since). I've never been more proud to be Canadian than the first time I heard the story of how the people of Gander took the plane people into their community in the days after the 9/11 attacks. My wife had never heard the story, and I'm sure most other Americans hadn't either. It was great to see it told again.

I saw a trailer over the weekend for the forthcoming Neil Young concert film. Looked like it's worth camping out at the head of the box office ticket line for.

The womens curling final on Friday night was pretty gripping stuff. Went into extra innings, and was decided by the last shot.

The rules are tinkered with all the time in sports.

One example; in international hockey icing is called as soon as the puck crosses the goal line. In the NHL if the team that iced the puck touches it before the other team, then the icing is negated. Less icings means a faster and more exciting game, in theory at least.

They have been talking about changing the rules to get more scoring in hockey, but honestly, that sounds like sacrilege to me.

Wow, Jane Siberry and Neil Young in one post. Always knew you were a good guy, despite all that unfathomable stuff about sport that crops up here from time to time. Good luck with the project—it sounds intriguing.

Style point for Downhill skiing? hahahahahah!
Id like to slap that tiara off Julia Mancuso's pretty little head!

I was also rooting for Canada in Hockey.

Tut, tut, Mike. Captain Kirk is from Iowa. But on the other hand, I have heard of William Shatner. Sadly, like David, I have not heard of the others you mention.

Must admit that I would find it easier to answer the old chestnut of naming five famous Belgians than five famous Canadians (although I have had my eyes opened living in Brussels). Shatner, James Doohan (just to keep the Star Trek theme going), Shania Twain, Pierre Trudeau, um, Margaret Trudeau?

Wow to bad Neil didn't do Rockin in the Real World at the closing ceremonies! But then again Nickelback did a pretty good job of rocking it out.

We Canucks love our beavers, our moose, our Mounties (well maybe not when they are pulling us over for speeding) and of course the pure joy of canoeing. We also like to poke fun at ourselves which is what the closing celebrations were all about. I loved the way they made fun of the mechanical malfunction at the opening ceremonies. I was half expecting them to throw a giant "little blue pill" down in the pit and then have the column rise up. But I guess this would have been a bit to "adult" for general consumption.

NBC did an abysmal job of covering the Olympics. Fortunately here in Canada we had CTV and TSN covering it live so you could find pretty much everything you wanted.

It's easy (unfortunately) to be cynical about a lot of pro sports, but the Olympics are an antidote to that. When you hear an interview with someone who has a regular job, more or less, and has been training for 12 years doing some dangerous outlandish physical thing that's probably damaged their body a few times, and you hear them humbly thank all those who helped them and how lucky they are (and mean it), and you know they won't be arrested next Wednesday on drug and murder charges, well, you feel a little better about the world. Sports is supposed to be fun.

I was born and live in Canada, but I felt sorry for that US hockey team after the final goal. What a roller coaster. Must be difficult to go back to your regular hockey job next week and play for some lousy cash.

Whoa...you mean there's RULES to hockey? I thought it was like pro wrestling, you know, the whole point is to wail away on the other guy while the ref has his back turned.

This is replay of whole Ladies free skate program:

on ctvolympics.ca you should be able to find streamable replay of all events, including ski jumping:

goto the sport that you want to see, then choose Results & Schedule and then replay

And enjoy

Thank you, Mike. :)

And if I may admit... I don't own a TV set. For several years now. But yes, Ivica Kostelic did a terrific thing by winning those two silvers.

And thank you for posting that Neil Young. Probably my favourite song of his.

I visited my sister this afternoon and there was a reprise of the closing ceremony. (She does have a TV. :)) I got a kick out of the Russian anthem not only because I think it's very nice but because I thought it was the Soviet anthem.

Got back home, checked and whaddaya know... It is the same music, they just changed the words.

Which also led me to check something my sister said, that the Polish anthem has the same melody as the Croatian anthem. No it doesn't. But it's a slightly sped up music that was the anthem of the former Yugoslavia. Or vice versa, better to say.

But the Polish anthem starts with the words "Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła, Kiedy my żyjemy." (Poland has not perished yet
So long as we still live.
) Which is, incidentally, also the first line of a Croatian patriotic "reveille" written very shortly after the original verses of the Polish anthem in the early 19th ct. of course, with "Croatia has not perished yet". :)

So, from Croatia to Canada to Russia to Poland to Yugoslavia back to Croatia. All in one afternoon. I simply love the modern media.

Speaking as a Vancouverite, the closing ceremonies were an embarrassment.

Should have been more Neil Young and less everything else... oh, and no Nickleback at all.

Talk about changing sports. Look at gymnastics and how much it has changed since 1900. It is not the same at all (many good events like the rope climb are gone) and favors tiny teenagers for the "women", like the chinese girl who was too young to compete. How about the mens hand grips with dowels so they can do crazy tricks on the high bar, or the springs in the floors so they can do flips that are physically impossible. Baseball changed the ball so there would be more home runs. The NBA changed the basketball recently. There are many more examples of changing a sport to make it more entertaining for the average TV audience to watch and enjoy. The scoring events are even worse, too much politics and such. I quit watching the Olympics years ago the coverage seems so biased to me. Oh well. It's just a game.

Gogo team Korea!
Kim Yu Na's performances were pretty much flawless, pretty too.
Once again, Korea dominates the speed skating, all other Olympic medals won were in that discipline.

As a Korean, I don't know what it is that makes us good at speed skating of all things, I've been told its something to do with the right kind of hips and low centre of gravity. Which may be good for sport, but doesn't sound at all flattering...

He actually spells it Paul Shaffer.

You definitely should catch Kim Yu-Na's performance (or Yu-Na Kim, for we Americans)...she deserved those scores, objectively and subjectively...just terrific.

I too get extremely addicted whenever the Olympics are on, which I think is quite an accomplishment, because I consider the television coverage of the Olympics to be terrible. Too many events are showed taped delayed, and for no good reason. That Gander special is a perfect example-- NBC could have been airing the last men's Alpine Skiing event during that time, but they chose to save it for later in the evening instead.

Another thing that bugs me is the over obsession with personality driven stories. Lindsey Vonn is a great skier, but how many times did they cut to her during the closing ceremonies? I mean, do we really need to see her reaction to everything, even when she's not competing?

The Hockey game was really fantastic though, and a fitting way to end the Olympics. Also, Curling rocks.

There actually have been some rule changes in the NHL in recent years in an effort to increase scoring, such as:

- Instead of making the net bigger, they've in effect made the goalies "smaller" by decreasing the maximum allowable size of their padding.

- When a puck is "iced", the offending team is not allowed to change their players for the ensuing puck drop. The thought being to discourage overly defensive teams from simply staying in their own end and rifling the puck down the boards constantly. And it also leads to more tired players on the offending team for the next play, potentially leading to more goals.

- Two-line passes (those that cross a blue line and the center red line) are no longer illegal, allowing for more "long bomb" passes for faster play and more breakaways.

- They've added a trapezoid of space behind the goals where the goalie is not allowed to touch the puck (else he gets a penalty). This helps prevent the goalie from breaking up dump in attempts by the other team, thus inducing more offense. Martin Brodeur is convinced that this rule was implemented solely for him.

- There has also been a crackdown on grabbing and hooking, via increased Interference penalties, that, in theory, should allow the faster, more agile players to move more freely and do their thing.

- Regular season NHL games tied after three periods proceed to a 4-on-4 sudden death overtime, followed, if necessary, by a shootout (just like the Olympics). These can be pretty exciting for the run of the mill regular season games, however, I don't think 4-on-4 overtime or shootouts belong in playoffs or medal games.

Those are just off the top of my head, so there may be a few other tweaks.

But besides all of that, I think some of the best hockey games I've ever seen have been the 1-0, 2-1 nailbiters with two evenly matched teams going to war and scrapping for everything they can get. I've always thought that increasing the number of goals, while certainly flashier, would only reduce the value and elation of each goal and bring it more towards a 'basketball' style of play like you've pointed out where the end of the game is all that matters.

The past two weeks and yesterday's hockey game have certainly made me into an even prouder Canadian than I already was.

"I don't want to talk about what it is because I don't want anyone out there to steal my idea."

Seriously, Mike? I thought you already mentioned your book project in the post.

The closing ceremonies were pretty wild. While the ceremonies of other countries suggest grand topics like global understanding and humanity...this one had a giant inflatable beaver.

Seriously, though, it struck me as one of the most nationalistic, self indulgent presentations ever.

"...why is it that some sports are so totally dependent on subjective judging, but, as soon as a contest has an objective measure to go by, all considerations of style get thrown out the window?"

Ski jumping.

“I know some people love that stuff...right? They do, don't they? We're not all just putting up with it, wishing we were someplace else, are we? Reassure me.”

I like closing ceremonies—a chance to wring out that last ragged bit of emotion, and a cool-down period after two weeks of hardly doing anything but watching the Olympics! My only complaint is that they are usually too long. Tooo loooong. Of course they could have cut this one by half simply by leaving out a chorus or two from the Russian National Anthem, rousing as that was.

“I rooted for the Kostelics…” All of them? I like the Kostelics, too. Great skiers, exciting to watch, though I admit I was rooting for Bodie Miller this time.

“Why is it that…as soon as a contest has an objective measure to go by, all considerations of style get thrown out the window?” Plushenko’s comment after the men’s final goes right to the heart of this.

“I couldn't find nearly enough video of the ski jumping online.” Amen to that.

Woo Hoo,
Mikes a Jane Siberry fan and a closet model railroader.
How can I not like this guy!

If it is 'fitting' that the gold should go to the country which invented the sport, Britain would do rather well. Let's see:

Curling - well, OK, it's Scottish but they're Brits too (allbeit grudgingly ;-))
Alpine skiing - yes, we invented it and then introduced the fun-loving Swiss to the sport (if you doubt this claim, remember that Arthur Conan Doyle was an accomplished skier and regular visitor to Switzerland).
Sledding - the famous Cresta Run in St. Moritz is organised by, you guessed it, Brits! (The Swiss are far too sensible)

I'll have to concede speed-skating and Nordic Skiing and, well, Ice Hockey (although we did invent the grass variety).

Have I missed anything?

Oh, all right. I admit it. I'm feeling a little dejected about Team GB's solitary medal when clearly we should have swept the board. ;^) :0)

I kept waiting for Leonard Cohen, and then they kept making jokes about sex in canoes and brought out a bunch of inflatable beavers, which is admittedly more highbrow than Celine Dion, so I guess we are lucky.

In an attempt to anger as many people as possible:

1. If you get style points, it is not a sport it is a competition, like a beauty competition.

2. Other than the hockey, I was disappointed in this Olympics. 90% of the outside events were in bad conditions and a guy died because the IOC wouldn't listen to the competitors about a turn being too dangerous. And to top that off, they said that it was his fault. Car manufacturers should use the same logic: If you wouldn't have wrecked your Pinto, the gas tank would have never blown up.

3. While Canadians may be friendly, the Vancouver Olympic facilities were anything but before the Games. Unlike at past Olympics (according to NPR), competitors from other countries were severely restricted in their access to the facilities before the Olympics took place. Thus giving Canadians a decided advantage in a number of events--luge, bobsled, etc.

Up here, close to Canada - in the Adirondack Mts. - it has been suggested that the sport of curling could do with a little "jazzing up" - things like randomly exploding stones and giving sweepers modern appliances to work the ice/stone with - things like hair dryers, shop vacs, and glue guns.

But the single most interesting idea is to introduce the modified curling sport of Biathurling - just strap a rifle on to each curler and see what happens.

I'd watch that.

It seems to me that the genesis of all of the new ski events and the snowboarding had to be someone half-dozing on his sofa while watching skiing or sliding competitions and "tinkering" with changes that might make the event more fun to watch. Hell, in my day "half-pipe" was something that you smoked before you watched the games. Now it's something that folks like Shaun White smokes as part of the game.

And what's more effective than a pre-opening training run fatality to get folks interested?

"'I rooted for the Kostelics...' All of them?

Well, maybe not all of them, but Ivica, his sister, and his mom at least.


"...and a closet model railroader"

B Small,
Actually not. I was briefly Senior Editor of "Model Railroader" magazine (where I knew Tony Koester) but I've never been a model railroader, apart from a brief fling with N scale when I was about 10.

I did take a wonderful workshop with Dave Frary and Bob Hayden in Houston once, though. Had an absolute blast. It was truly fun, and very, very interesting.


The father of one my best friends spent a few days at Gander in 2001 and the hospitality was indeed pretty good.
I was living in Halifax NS when Swiss Air 111 went down just south of the city in 1998.
The locals were very welcoming to the bereaved relatives and the local paper carried many letters of thanks.


"'I will be off until Monday morning in order to put in some work on a photo-related project.' 'I spent the entire weekend watching the Olympics'"

Sounds like the ol' brain was working away in the background while you were watching the box, in the same way as sleeping on a problem often provides a solution. It's possible that you might have worked more but achieved less had the Olympics not been on.

If nothing else it's a good excuse, but I am being serious (this time).

I'm surprised that anyone outside of Ontario has heard of Jane Siberry. I used to listen to her music back in the 80s. Maybe it's time to crank up the Victrola again...

As to the Olympics, I was particularly impressed by the job that the Canadian Olympic Television consortium (or whatever they're really called) did in broadcasting multiple channels over the Internet, so that one could watch full events with or without commentary and go back days later to review. I don't know if it works outside Canada, but ctvolympics.ca is where to watch it here.

And my discoveries this time around were Curling (which is really an amazing sport to watch once you understand the rules - kind of like horseshoes plus chess plus housekeeping, but better), and team pursuit speedskating, which had me on the edge of my seat. In particular, try to find the video of German skater, Anni Friesinger-Postma swimming across the ice in the semi-final. Amazing!

An interesting point about a supposedly objective non-judged sport, alpine skiing, is that the snow conditions can change markedly throughout the day giving certain racers an insurmountable handicap. After watching that, I thought the figure skating rating system looked relatively fair.

My wife is a figure skating/gymnastics mega-fan, and I keep up with the sport a bit. We both thought Kim Yu-Na was mesmerizing. A perfect blend of technique, grace and beauty.

Oh, Jane Siberry deserves to be much, much more widely known. As does that stupendous performance by Kim Yu Na.

It's definitely not required to always cheer for the home country--I came back from Iceland a few weeks ago on a flight that carried (I was told) the entire Icelandic Olympic Team--I came back through Seattle. Good kids, it was a great pleasure to be able to cheer them on.

I much watched the women's snowboarding and some of the hockey.

Jane Siberry did have at least one college radio hit in the eighties. "Mimi on the Beach" got some air play on WOXY back when it was in Ohio and I was in college. At the time I thought it was a great song, although I never heard anything else from her on the radio.

Now that I'm in Ontario, all I can say is that going to the grocery store last night after the game was something of a mistake. Our usual grocery store is on the other side of Dundas Square from here, and the police had a number of street blocked off and people were everywhere.

As a Canadian, I found the opening and closing ceremonies embarassing, as I find them all.

Most awesome Olympics competitor: cross-country skier Petra Majdac from Slovenia, who crashed off the course, got four broken ribs and a collapsed lung, and still managed to finish with a bronze medal. Words fail.

The 2010 Winter Olympics certainly had its share of sadness and tragedy with many examples of quiet courage and fortitude.

Team USA's GM Brian Burke taking his team to the gold medal round while dealing with the recent passing of his son.

Joannie Rochette skating despite the death of her mom.

And of course the brave team from Georgia marching into BC Place Stadium wearing black armbands after the horrifying accident that killed one of their own.

"I did take a wonderful workshop with Dave Frary and Bob Hayden in Houston once, though. Had an absolute blast. It was truly fun, and very, very interesting."

Did you by chance ever cross paths with Malcolm Furlow? He's kind of in the same time frame as those two. I always regarded him kind of as the Alfred Bierstadt of modeling. Everything was way beyond belief, but really, really cool.

I remember looking at pictures of his Denver and Rio Chama once and thinking that such a railroad in 1:1 scale would have cost about the same as, say, the Great Wall of China or landing a man on the moon.

I didn't, no, but I certainly heard of him.


Mike, I'm sure Canada is sorry for your discomfort during the closing ceremonies.

Yes, the US team looked crushed after their loss, I think partly because so many people were expecting another miracle (is it even possible to expect a miracle?) a la Lake Placid. But imagine how crushed the Canadian team would have been to not win their national sport as host and favorite. It was a fine game, though, worthy of an Olympic final.

I can't help noting that 80% of those most famous Canadians live and work in the U.S.

Ski jumping has both style and distance and I've always thought the points make it totally pointless. thing is there, without good style you ain't going very far anyway.
Generally I think it's rare that the "ugly" performance wins in many ski events: good technique is generally nice to look at (although Herman Maier was another who tested that particular rule).

Personally I didn't get to see a single second, and I'm a big Olympics fan (I remember watching every second of coverage of Barcelona in '92). Tropical countries just don't seem to get the winter games.

"Basketball is just all offense and is missing the defensive element of a game"

That's not quite fair, Richard. While the NBA game and marketing machine may be rigged for offense, classic defense and team basketball live on in less glamorous venues. Check out a Princeton-Cornell game sometime and you'll see what I mean.

Speaking of tinkering, halfpipe has potential, but its presentation needs a serious overhaul.

Your speaking of those who wish to tinker without any knowledge of the game they view, took me back to the Munster Hurling Final of 1984 in Semple Stadium. Hurling is - I suppose - as fast as hockey but it takes place on grass and without any protection per say. Anyway a visitor from across the pond, asked why the ball, couldn't be a luminous orange. He was met by silence, and the accasional clearing of the throat. This in a match which had my father shouting, 'keep it clean,' a reference only to the profanities falling on a 14 yr old's ears.


Nicer!!!???. Haven't you of Minnesota Nice? Or was that Ice. Either way it's all hockey to me. Cheers from one Olympics/Neil Young fan to another. And, I will never watch the Marriage Ref. Ruined my whole experience. If it wasn't for TiVO I would never have gotten to see Nickelback.


Team sports (college and pro) are mostly "my hired thugs can beat your hired thugs". Curling on the other hand.

My peeve with the Olympics is the absurdity of calling an athlete the “Best In The World” when he/she won by only a few hundredths of a second. There are way too many variables involved for that to be a convincing win. Check this web page for a dramatic illustration of close events:


I am a Canadian, born and bred here.
I can speak and write both official languages (however English is the preferred language!)

I know how to use the letter "u" and sometimes think the rest of the world out there doesn't know or care a sweet damn of what Canada does on the world stage.

You could say Canadians "iced" the Winter Olympics in 2010.

The ceremonies at the start foretold of great events, the closing ceremonies let Canadian laugh at themselves, inflatable beavers and mounted police, flying moose, Canada geese, maple leaves everywhere...this is our country!

We in Canada illustrated and proved to the world we can are a can do country in sports and many other activities.

The streets of small towns and large cities
went nuts after the win over the USA in ice hockey, more so because one of the younger Canadian hockey players made the winning goal.

We all needed something to celebrate, and we did!


Loved what I saw of the Olympics, which, I admit, was quite a bit. I am not too sure about the tinkering needed. Some of these sports are grand as they stand. They addition of snowboard cross, alpine cross and the like should satisfy the action crowd. You can't argue with strategy needed in curling even if it might seem slow to some. By the way, a friend with a tech pass saw a dB meter at the curling venue. They had the place at 110dB and more--more, I was told, than any hockey game. But I started this post to just mention the photographic side, not the images from Getty but from Canwest photgraphers. They asked each for a favourite. See them at http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/2010wintergames/Gallery+Canwest+photogs+favourite+shots/2622456/story.html

Thanks for the Neil Young link, Mke.

Something tells me you didn't see this ad in the U.S. during the Olympics. (YouTube, 1:02)


Mike, A Neil Young fan too .....It just keeps gets better.

Fortunately I have a lovely wife who sat through the closing ceremony and called me when Neil Young came on.... been a fan forever. Saw him live in Brisbane, Australia 2009 and swear his 'Rocking in the Free World' only stopped because in broke his guitar!

He ain't lost it yet .....

Great article.....but.....I have got to tell you.....that Neil Young video is the best SNL performance I have ever seen by a musical artist. I expected just another quality outing from Neil Young. The video threw me. That just might be the finest Neil Young performance ever captured on video. Holy smokes!

Very nice write up, easy to understand and straight to the point...

The Olympics...

In conclusion, my view is that it's an extreme waste of public money, doing nothing of any consequence for anyone that really matters. High time we found better things to do.

In case you didn't get it, no, I didn't and don't watch. No doubt most of you will disagree with me, but that's your opinion. This is mine.

(Mike, as always, feel free to not post this if you so desire. If you do, I will endeavour to not bite at anything inflammatory that may be posted in reply. ;) No guarantees though. )

Sports is something you do, not something you watch. Except maybe when there's a chance of spectacular accidents, like in racing or downhill skiing.

Curling is big find last Olympic -- never known that sport exist until then. The coolest weather here is 8 degree C. Hence, this is my fix. It is so sad to see that the Canadian skip did not get that stone out in the 10th end. It is just so tense ...

Well, may be some part of me that can accommodate 8x10 photograph meant that curling could be very very tense. nail biting in fact.

Now have to wait for another 4 year.

I agree totally about basketball's scoring system, which seems designed to remove all tension (and, dare I say, interest?) As it is, it's akin to watching a match of tennis without any sets or games, and with the winner decided simply on most points scored after a certain time.

What I find interesting in sport is how players react to pressure, but this pressure is so often absent in basketball.

Lars wrote "Sports is something you do, not something you watch."

Hmmm, is photography something we do or is it something we look at?

I was wondering why Diana Krall was not part of the Olympics entertainment. Not only is she Canadian, but she's from British Columbia, just across the strait in Nanaimo. Anyone know or care to make a guess?

Re hockey - I had a hard time getting too excited about men's hockey, since it's all NHL pros. I loved college hockey when I was at the University of Wisconsin, but never cared much for NHL. I always felt the college game and the pro game were different. For that reason, I love women's hockey now - they're the college students that we used to see before the Olympics allowed pro players on the men's teams.


Carl, I suspect there was no Diana Krall because her music is so mellow, and the Olympic entertainment was pretty much all upbeat party music.

I don't know what it is about Canadians who apologize for the opening and closing ceremonies but I for one embrace all the kitsch. I thought they were fabulous shows and trying to fit in 'good taste' into what are essentially extravaganzas is beside the point. Next time, even more giant inflatable beavers (somehow I expected more jokes Monday morning). Why apologize for that? "Canada: don't make fun of us. Take us seriously." Puhleeeze. If you were part of the celebration at Granville and Robson like I was after that win you'd know decorum was the farthest thing from anyone's minds.

On the Jane Siberry front: the last good thing she did was a stupendous duet with K. D. Lang "Calling All Angels". It's on the sountrack for a Wim Wenders film called "Until the End of the World". Speaking of Lang, she really wowed it with her rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" in the opening ceremonies. See? Cohen did make it in.

By the way, the Olympics had the most DSLRs in people's hands per square meter than any other event I've ever been to.

re margins of victory:

That Times article Joe pointed out shows an incomplete picture, since it looks only at medal rounds (lazy reporting?). Omitted, for example, is a short track semi where the margin between advancing or not was .006 seconds!

I think this idea was inspired by a commercial during the Olympics - it all ran together after two weeks - but I believe it could be a winner. Ballerina snowboarding. Can you see it? I can. Long may you run.

Ok, Since Keith brought k.d. lang into the mix with Jane Siberry, and since I'm on a musical nostagia jag, I might as well bring up that great summer of 85, the first summer I spent in Toronto, when you could go down to Ontario Place and see concerts for around $10 at that great circular revolving stage they used to have.

I saw Jane and k.d. perform there (separately). Particularly memorable was the k.d. lang concert. She was new on the scene with her first album recently released. There were at most 100 people in the audience, all in the first row which surrounded the stage, and she belted it out as if there were 10,000. It was the first time I'd ever seen or heard her, and wow - what a voice! Late in the show, she invited everyone up on stage for a dance contest (which she judged was won by a small child), and after the encore, she went around and shook the hand of everyone in the audience.

"Whoa...you mean there's RULES to hockey? I thought it was like pro wrestling, you know, the whole point is to wail away on the other guy while the ref has his back turned"

That was the seventies, so you're only 40 years out of date. :-)

As for Jane Sibbery, she was a shining goddess of offbeat pop only in the eighties, though I stuck with her for much longer. I am going to cue up "Hockey" now, so I can combine two threads in one song.

And my take on Olympic Hockey:

I can't watch sports. Years ago, I watched the Danish women's handball team up for Olympic gold against Korea (East or West, not sure). It was a hell of a game, and had cute girls. And still I found myself channel-hopping.

Siberry has Alberta fans. I have all her 78s. ;)

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