Monday, July 16, 2012


Rubbernecking Across the Pond

Authorities have promised "inspirational stories" from the Olympic torch bearers. Strangely, the identities of many remain mysterious while others appear to work for game sponsors. With some torch bearers trying to sell their torches perhaps the sight of will.i.am texting as he carried the torch through Somerset isn't as out of step as it seems.

If you're curious about the madness that's going on in London, Metafilter user outlier just wove together an incredible summary. It is bananas. #jeah

56 Comments / Post A Comment

Nicole Cliffe

The only events I actually enjoy watching (although I will reflexively watch everything):

1. Equestrian.
2. Gymnastics.
3. Whatever the shortest race is. 100m? That one.


4. Figure skating.


@Nicole Cliffe There used to be a 60m dash, but it was phased out in after only two Olympiads.


I always get excited for fencing when I hear about it. Yeah, SWORDS AND POSSIBLE BLOODY CARNAGE. But then I actually watch it and I think, "This looks NOTHING like Arya and Syrio in Game of Thrones. Screw this, back to Jeopardy."

Nicole Cliffe

Maybe if they were given points for the quality of their witty banter during the match?


@Nicole Cliffe You mean, for their sharp wit and pointed barbs?


@Emby Touché.

hahahaha, ja.

@Emby: Some of the remarks are quite cutting.

Queen of Pickles

@Emby Yeah, I love good verbal blow-by-blow. It's quite disarming...


Has this started yet? I don't have cable or anything so I really have no idea. I feel like it's been on forever already.


@Megano! Oh, buckle up! It starts on the 27th.


@Megano! You don't need cable to get NBC.

Heat Signature

@Megano! I always feel like that when the Olympics and when the NBA Finals are on TV. It's like, isn't this done YET?


@maevemealone You do in Canada. Also I don't even have the free channels.


But surely hosting the Olympics has always been a clusterf*ck, right? I'm sure even the first ones had local Grecians up in arms because their usual chariot routes were blocked and the price of yogurt skyrocketed.


@SuperGogo I liked this Mary Beard article. Plenty of clusterfuckery. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/jun/22/olympic-games-ancient-modern


@questingbeast You guys, have you ever been to Lake Placid? It is a 2 hour drive from the closest airport, and there is basically a single road that runs through the entire town, and I have no idea how on earth they hosted an Olympics there, much less two of them! It is ridiculous.


@SuperGogo Also, I would like to add that I realize now why my comment looked so weird: things are Grecian, people are Greeks. Sorry, Greek dudes/ladies of the past!


@SarahDances Well it was the winter ones, wasn't it? #heyo


@questingbeast I went to see her give a talk on that! It was very interesting.


will.i.am is such an ass. I wish he'd drop off the face of the earth.


I am SO EXCITED for the Olympics. Every time there's an Olympics my TV remains tuned to NBC (and its affiliate channels that play Olympic things) for the entirety of the games. This will be my first Olympics living with the fiance, hopefully he will play along.

he will play along or else


@Scandyhoovian Yep. It's my first Olympics living with my husband, and I am preparing myself to hear a lot of groans when I monopolize the TV to watch them.


@Scandyhoovian Yep. All TV all the time. I will pretty much watch any event, except maybe cycling and distance running. I'm even considering signing up for the online live streaming. Every event at my fingertips!

I am so happy, though. Mr. Sour never watched the Olympics before we started dating, and now he gets a bit excited and even watched some of the Olympic trials with me. I hope that your fiance grows to love it, too!


@Scandyhoovian Ooh, me too. I live and breathe the Olympics every time they're on. Luckily, my live-in boyfriend is on board with this! I'll be watching all the sports, even, god help me, trampolining.

New Hoarder

@olivebee All I remember from watching the Vancouver Winter Olympics is my husband and I trying to figure out whether Evan Lycasek and Nastia Liukin were dating or not. We have the same priorities. =-)


@Scandyhoovian My SO spends A LOT of time next to me on the couch with a laptop during the Olympics. He's actually pretty into it/indulgent. The only part he got really tired of was the parade of nations. (Honey! Look at the Mexican winter delegation and let me tell you about this crazy skier!)


I do find it odd that cricket isn't an Olympic sport. I suppose it's because of time, but 20/20 seems like the solution to that.


Wait, wait. The alt-text, is that for real?


@frigwiggin Yeah, I followed that particular thread to the source--apparently because of something in the agreement with McDonalds? Like, theirs are the Official Fries or whatever. So you can serve fish and chips but if you just serve the chips you're now infringing. I have no idea how this is a thing.


@OhMarie The mind boggles. McDonald's fries should not be the Official Fries of anything.

Reginal T. Squirge


Except my stomach. McDonald's fries are the official fries of my stomach.


@frigwiggin The Official Fries of the 90 Seconds After They First Come Out of the Fryer. (SO DELICIOUS FOR SUCH A SHORT TIME)


@OhMarie SO TRUE! (Julia Child used to say a McD's fry, fresh from the fryer was her favorite.)

And, chips and fries aren't really the same anyway, so surely they could just give up on this fry territory thing.


@frigwiggin Sadly, yes. It's because McDonald's are a sponsor, so they have a monopoly on selling chips/fries. Fish and chips apparently counts as an exception, however.


@PistolPackinMama Speaking of which, can someone tell me more about chips vs. American fries? I've never been to the UK but I believe they're more potato wedge style fries, like you'd get in a legitimate restaraunt here in the US, rather than the shoestringy kind of things McDonalds serves. Is that right?


@OhMarie In my opinion they are in between a McDonalds fry and a steak fry. Not nearly potato wedge-y, just like the most generic fry shape you can think of. In fact, that picture at the top is a perfect representation.


@OhMarie Chips are shorter and chunkier than the usual American-style fries, yeah. The wedges are pretty close, but most of the chips I get in the UK are still sort of rectangular? Almost like those wavy-cut fries you can get, shape-wise.

And, of course, plenty of places sell the shoestringy kind too, especially the ones going for the American fast food vibe. Sometimes they call those ones french fries, sometimes they don't.


@oboe-d-amore Yeah, those ones in the picture at the top are good examples. Chips are square/rectangular in cross-section rather than being wedge-shaped, generally, and aren't as big as most wedges.


@frigwiggin Well, I'd say in my experience fries are things I eat while driving long distances in the US, when I need a carb/salt hit.

Chips are things I eat when I am drunk and walking home from the pub in Scotland.

But yeah. Chips, less wedge and more three McDs fries lined up together to make a 2x4-ish shape.

Heat Signature

"others appear to work for game sponsors. With some torch bearers trying to sell their torches perhaps the sight of will.i.am texting as he carried the torch..." What a PERFECT metaphor for the world we live in.

New Hoarder

I want fish and chips for lunch SO BADLY.

New Hoarder

Also, has anyone been watching "Twenty Twelve" on BBC America? It's kinda like an Olympics version of "The Office" and it stars <3Lord Grantham<3.


@New Hoarder I think I saw a commercial for that on BBCA. But I wasn't paying attention so all I came away with was that Lord Grantham is on some other show. I'll have to try to catch it. Is it any good?

New Hoarder

@Mere I won't rewatch the episodes or anything, but I have been chuckling at all of the ineptitude as I watch. I am sure there is a good chunk of truth in the comedy!


@New Hoarder The episode where they took the Brazilian representatives on a tour was so amazing/awful. The whole conversation between the woman who handles sustainablitly (not legacy!) talking to her son's school. But like the office, it makes me anxious.

New Hoarder

@sovereignann@twitter I just love how clueless the main PR lady is. "Okay, em, so we're, yes, great, okay!" and "Ho-ly SHIT!"


Discussing the origin story and pretentiousness of the username "outlier" is something I wish I could unread. But I'm a fan of the hashtag #jeah so I'm back to even.


As a Londoner the Olympics feel like a large hovering Death Star about to land on our city. Our city, a city which is pretty great when we're just able to get on with things.
Oh, and now we find out that the cleaners are being forced to live in slum conditions (link is from The Daily Fail, but they've been doing some proper reporting lately, in amongst all the frothing-mouthed invective.)

Tuna Surprise


I saw a poster this morning when the tube doors opened at Hyde Park Corner that said "this station will be exit only from 10am to 10pm during the Olympics". How is that possible! It boggles the mind!!

But I stubbornly refuse to make alternative transport plans. If I can't get to work on the tube, I can't get to work. What do they want me to do? Hijack an official Olympic vehicle?


@Tuna Surprise

Exit only? As in, you can get there, but you can't actually catch your train home??


@Tuna Surprise I don't understand how that works... will everyone in Hyde park be airlifted out? I cycle to work most days anyway, but as I live in Hommerton/ south Clapton I'm pretty close to the Park and I don't even know which roads will be open. There was something in the local paper about non-emergency ambulances not being able to use the fancy sponsor-and-athlete lanes too.

You should get a skateboard and hook up to the back of one of the official vehicles.


@Anna_anna I asked a cabbie today if he knew what the rules were on restricted lanes (as I drive down Park Lane regularly) and he was all, "your guess is as good as mine". There is a general feeling that we gave the milk away for free with this thing. And the crap weather doesnt help, does it? Today was especially bad.


@Tuna Surprise Ha! My work gave me two weeks free holiday because they couldn't be bothered to think about employee alternate travel plans. I think they are buying into the scaremongering; that South London is basically going to be corralled for the duration. I'm pretty sure it's going to be ok.




Having lived through two olympic host-cities (Calgary in '88 and Vancouver in '10) I can tell you, every resident is fleeing the city. It's just not worth it. Did you realize Montreal *just* finished paying for the 1968 olympics???

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