Late Night: The Silver and the Gold

Amazing tiebreaker in women's uneven bar gymastics tonight. Nastia Liukin (U.S.)got the silver, He Kexin (China) got the gold. The math that gave He the gold medal is explained here.

The announcers all thought Nastia outperformed He. To my untrained eye, He's mistakes did seem bigger than Nastia's. But, the judges did follow their formula for breaking the tie. By 1/100th of a point, He came out ahead.

So to Nastia, you got the silver, but to many of us, you are the gold.

This is another open thread.

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    I'm an independent and didn't know it (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:46:47 AM EST
    I moved to Vermont just over two years ago and one of the first things I did was register to vote.  I had a huge thrill to be able to vote for an actual socialist for senator, Bernie Sanders, not long after I moved.  But I wasn't at all clear on the details of party registration, primaries, etc.

    So I stopped into my town's tiny, weeny town clerk's office to inquire, a shack in the village that's maybe 300 square feet, and discovered that, God bless Vermont, there is NO party registration in this state.  For primaries, they just give you four ballots (we have two extra parties in the state, the Progressive Party and something else, maybe Greens), and you fill one out and throw the others away.

    That's it.  No having to re-register as an independent after voting in a primary or anything.

    I asked about write-ins, and there are no rules for that, either, as there are in so many states, except that they decline to count votes for fictional or dead characters.  If you vote for Mickey Mouse or Mickey Mantle, it's just recorded as a blank.  Write-ins are a pain for the election officials, of course, so after I brought the subject up as something I was considering, she promptly signed me up to help count.  (Given the size of the voting population in this town of 1,200, I'll probably get to count to 4 or 5, but what the heck.)

    Personally, I prefer closed primaries, but it's such a good thing not to be required to hassle over your party registration, this is a good system, at least for Vermont.

    I spouted off a little bit in the clerk's office about being unhappy about the choices on offer, and she said she thought there were many more people in Vermont who felt the same way than one might think from the fact that Obama won the state handily in the primary.

    She also mentioned that although she thought Bill Clinton was a fantastic president, she didn't want Hillary as either Pres. or VP because she couldn't bear the thought of having him hanging around and potentially creating "scandals," by which I gather she meant bimbo eruptions.  I bet she's not alone in that, but this is the first time I've heard that thought in person from a smart, politically very aware person.

    Having her as my Senator (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:32:00 AM EST
    and also watching him campaign for her, I'm pretty sure Bill wouldn't do anything to screw up her career. It's like that whole idea with him being a second VP. Bill will do whatever's asked, but he's pretty busy with his own life. He seems to have complete faith in both of his "girls". And damn proud of them.

    I personally think voters shouldn't have to register with a party. Especially after this year. Politicians sign up and run on a party platform and we the people decide which one/platform we like. I'm actually going to do some communicating with the Green party as I like many aspects of them, but they are too animal rights for me and I also think it limits their scope. Especially right now when they stand for single payer, womens rights etc. You know, those issues that seem to be going by the wayside with the Dems.


    I don't think he can (none / 0) (#14)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:05:04 AM EST
    really help himself.  Lord knows, he didn't want to do anything to screw up his own presidency, and yet...

    I agree voters shouldn't have to sign up with a party, and I'm not aware of any place they're forced to.  But I do think that people who are comfortable being party members are the ones who should choose the party nominee.

    I'm actually leaning towards voting Green for president.  I don't like Cynthia McKinney as a person and a politician at all, but her positions on the issues are pretty close to perfect for me, and voting for her would make the point that the non-Obama vote isn't a racist one.


    God Bless Vermont (none / 0) (#18)
    by daring grace on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:46:22 AM EST
    and any state that makes it so easy for a citizen to participate in the process without the coercive push to register with one of two parties.

    Next door in the Empire State...well, we could learn a lot from you Green Mountain folk!


    God Bless Vermont (none / 0) (#19)
    by daring grace on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 11:59:27 AM EST
    and any state that makes it so easy for a citizen to participate in the process without the coercive push to register with one of two parties.

    Next door in the Empire State...well, we could learn a lot from you Green Mountain folk!


    Sorry About the Double Posting (none / 0) (#20)
    by daring grace on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:01:15 PM EST
    My browser crashed as I was posting the first time so I didn't think it went through.

    Or maybe it was some dark hand of New York politics that didn't approve my message...!


    USA had gotten ripped off ( Alicia and Nastia) by (5.00 / 0) (#11)
    by sociallybanned on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:48:07 AM EST

    I've met both of these wonderful young ladies.  My daughter was a competitive gymnasts and gave up our 12K year expenditure last USAG season.  Yes, while not stressing about getting money to travel to Las Vegas to Chicago for her to compete is relieving, I was sad.  I put my heart and soul into this sport as much as my daughter did.  This isn't recreational like cheerleading.  These girls can kick majority of the boys their age in chin up and more unless they are gymnast themselves.  Just like the men who watch their favorite football team, We (hubby and I) knew all the skills, levels and their names.  We can pretty much judge a girl and guess pretty darn close on their scores.  

    Alicia's routine on the Vault was awesome.  China's girl who scored higher than Alicia, had multiple deduction (massive ones).  Blocking (she didn't block on her 2nd run), flexing of the feet, and of course the dismount (she fell completely to her knees and hands).  These are important to vaulting and scoring along with start values. She should have gotten a 14.5 on her 2nd run.  Alicia without a doubt should have received a silver.  The other two girls dismounts were pathetic.  Alicia only hopped and those girls were out of bounds.  BS.

    Now, with Nastia, BS!  We knew someone, someway or another they would steal that from her anyways.  LIke she said, she is the BEST gymnast in the WORLD.  She received that crown jewel and it pist of China.  

    China cheated by allowing younger girls to compete.  The avg jane/joe that hasn't had a gymnast in their family like we have, doesnt know that a girl's little frame is an advantage on the beam as well as flexbility.  When a girl starts developing hormones, they start becoming a little more bulkier and are prone to more injuries and breaks.  Most gymnast that work out 40 hours a week (my child did at one time) do not start having cycles until they reach college years.  Sometimes they have to get injections to kick start it. It sucks that hormones play a role in women's balance and focus.  There are many junior elite gymnasts that compete nationally that could whip a lot of those girls asses in the olympics.

    US isn't the only country pist off at China's ways of fixing things.    

    It's officially time to (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:14:35 AM EST

    Poll #14228 taken in Minnesota for KSTP-TV (Minneapolis)
    Q: If the election for President were today, would you vote for ... (choices rotated) Republican John McCain? Or, Democrat Barack Obama?
    A: McCain (R) 45% Obama (D) 47% Other 4% Undecided 4%

    At least they still have (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by rjarnold on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:29:45 AM EST
    a good ground game going.

    He's even starting to drop in NY (none / 0) (#6)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:41:22 AM EST
    I think Ras by 10 from 31 to 21 and another state poll from 18 to 8. We'll prob stay blue, but we do have a large republican population and he could loose ground in the upstate areas when the GE kicks into high gear. Also, primary threats to local pols isn't all that inspiring.

    Honestly, if he got his act together and had a Clinton or Clark on the ticket, he 'might' get my vote if he needed it. But he's just been so not what I want and the inexperience along with his attitude really bother me. They make my gut scream "NO!". I'm only a fan of Biden's "Noun, verb, 911" crack, but at least he has some experience which I think Obama seriously needs on the ticket. Bayh has some experience, Kaine?! I need to give Obama painting lessons.


    The tiebreaker was ridiculous.. (none / 0) (#5)
    by rjarnold on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:40:37 AM EST
    And the anouncer said that one of the problems with the judging is that judges aren't allowed if their country has people competing. So because of this there are judges from countries like New Zealand and Bulgaria who have never even had an athlete that won a medal in gymnastics and aren't really that good at judging at a high level.

    I missed that piece about the judging (none / 0) (#7)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 01:47:41 AM EST
    thanks for the info :) Thing is, mistakes are also about appearance. I could see the Chinese mistakes. One of the American's needed to be pointed out and the slight separation on the legs could only be seen on replay.

    its why gymastics is not a sport (none / 0) (#8)
    by bigbay on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:02:25 AM EST
    anything that relies on judging only to determine the outcome is an art, like a piano competition. In general, the Olympics really needs to pare down. Events like the trampoline are ridiculous. Stick with what it started with.

    The trampoline is BACK? (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by JavaCityPal on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:07:21 AM EST
    That was my favorite, and my best (next to vault) when I was in gymnastics.

    I was just thinking the other day about the trampoline and wondering when they took it out of the olympics.


    I think gymnastics fits under a dual (none / 0) (#10)
    by nycstray on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:23:39 AM EST
    billing. I've done both dance and gymnastics, and while dance is athletic, it's an expression. Gymnastics is sport with expression added, imo. I agree about the judging in a way. But really, text book moves are text book moves. Think of figure skating of old with the figure eight and other requirements. And it's not like they are judging these days in real time. They have their images as back up. Same images that are used in the 100yd dash to see who really came in second or 3rd (how did that work out with the womens race?)

    I think the downfall here was deciding on tie-breakers. In the past, both would have gotten a medal.

    Trampoline. Always surprised to see that one. That  falls under sport for me because you can't do a lot more than skills (in the competition I saw). Kinda like diving. I was actually impressed with the form they showed. And that nobody went flying off to the left corner of the room!


    What about boxing?... (none / 0) (#17)
    by kdog on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:22:24 AM EST
    Unless there is a KO, it's up to the judges, and boxing is definitely a sport.

    Love the sport vs. game vs. art debates...seems to be an exception to every rule.

    I'm with ya on gymnastics....hard to call it a sport, though it does require extraordinary athletic ability.  Same for figure skating.


    judges (none / 0) (#12)
    by sociallybanned on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 02:53:33 AM EST
    When did they change that?  I could've sworn, I remember the old scoring system where there was a judge from every country that a girl competed.  Why do I remember this?

    Flip Flop? (none / 0) (#13)
    by americanincanada on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 08:52:06 AM EST
    Can we call this a flip flop or is it simply desperation? I'm just not sure anymore.

    Obama Changes Tune on Philly Street Money


    You could say he (none / 0) (#16)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:18:00 AM EST
    learned his lesson in the primary.  But I don't think he'd be changing his mind on this unless he was worried.  Same with the funding of outside groups, which he was trying to have dried up and has recently changed his mind about.

    Hey (none / 0) (#21)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:16:57 PM EST
    has anyone seen the new Obama ad about the economy, energy, etc.?  The images inside the ad pass across the screen horizontally, and are numbered 1 - 6 I think.  The commercial's font is scrawly, comic sans almost.  The ad was TERRIBLE.

    I really don't understand why his advertising team sucks so much.

    I will have to try and find the ad online somewhere.  

    Henry Cejudo won a gold medal last night (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 12:23:15 PM EST
    in the 121 lb weight class in wrestling.  His parents were illegal immigrants.