Monthly Archives: August 2004

National Broadcasting Crap.

As some people have already voiced, NBC is doing a splendidly awful job with their Olympics coverage. I whole-heartedly agree that the announcers butchered Bjork’s performance at the opening ceremonies by talking over the entire thing. We could very well see and hear what was going on, so stop fucking describing it!

And now today’s ridiculousness… I was quite interested in watching the fencing coverage on Bravo this evening, excited to see a sport I enjoy, given some actual coverage I could catch. Not to mention it was Women’s Sabre, which is exciting because 1) sabre is really fast and fun to watch and 2) this is the first year that Women’s Sabre has been in the Olympics. Bravo showed the two full semifinal bouts, which were awesome, but it became clear why it was getting such attention. There was not one, but two American girls remaining, guaranteeing the US at least one medal in fencing (a first in 80-some-odd years, which Bravo and NBC reiterated over and over again (without mentioning how we regularly get our asses handed to us in every other fencing weapon and category)). So, big deal, it’s another case of the NBC coverage focussing on the sports where we have a chance to medal. That’s fine. Semi-final matches are over, one girl is on to a bout for the gold and the other for the bronze. Bravo shows the bronze match in full, which the American, Sada Jacobson, wins. Commercial break.

Upon returning, the announcer on Bravo says, “Stay tuned to NBC primetime for the gold-medal match.” Grrrr… Oh… but… “In other fencing competition today, here’s the men’s individual epee final…” Sweet! That was my weapon of choice when I fenced and I find it even more exciting to watch than sabre!! Cut to fencing coverage… Swiss guy has match point… clik-clak… touch! Match over. Swiss guy wins. Cut back to announcer for wrap-up. One measly touch!? Infuriating. So now I’m left with sometime between 8PM and 11PM that they’ll show the women’s sabre final on NBC. It had just turned to 8PM, and I figure it might be up soon. 20 minutes go by and finally… fencing. Bob Costas’ introduction mostly builds up the “first women’s fencing gold in 80 years” possibility again, and then we cut to the start of the match. This is approximately how it went:
clik – clak
Announcer: “First touch goes to Mariel Zagunis, the American. She’s up 1-0.”
Announcer: “We’re now at 9-6, Zagunis.”
clik – clak
Announcer: “And she takes a 10-6 lead.”
Announcer: “Match point Zagunis now at 14-10.”
clik – clak
Announcer: “And it’s gold for the US!”

A fencing bout that took less than 30 seconds!? Apparently 1 touch counts as 5 all of a sudden? Thanks NBCrap-editing!

Fucking ridiculous. If you honestly don’t think anyone wants to pay attention to fencing on NBC, just leave it on Bravo and let them show the whole gold-medal bout unedited. Damn.

Luckily I am close enough to Canada where I get the splendid CBC coverage, which is also 100% Costas free.

The Guard

Some details on the guard position:

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when a fighter is on their back and has their opponent between their legs they are said to be in the guard position. The guard is one of the most intricate and unique positions in all of jiu-jitsu. The guard has the potential to be utilized for both offense and defense. To many who are not well versed in jiu-jitsu the guard appears to be only advantageous for the fighter on top; this is a great misconception. The fighter on the bottom has the ability to employ a great deal of leverage, which can be used to off balance or overextend an opponent resulting in a sweep or submission.  In addition, the bottom fighter can use four limbs to attack, while the fighter on top is limited to only two. These facts combined demonstrate that the fighter on the bottom is actually in the superior position despite being on their back.

Explanation of the guard is continued here, with a good collection of techniques here. The guard is not the same as the mount.

Judging it like it is

Thanks to Andrew‘s recent birthday, he is now the proud owner of City of Heroes, a massively-multiplayer online game where you play as a superhero of your own creation. We’ve had a lot of fun with it in the past couple weeks, and tonight was no exception. We gave birth to the City of Heroes Costume Judge. Stay tuned for a gallery of some of our best, and worst judged costumes. Andrew gives some good background to what brought this character to life. Here’s the judge in action on one of his first victims… er… subjects (we gave him a 2):


After a minute or two, people quickly started lining up to have their costumes judged. A few highlights from the Judge’s first night…

After rating “Fire Dancer” a 6: “Thank you judge and I judge you to be sexy”

“Commando Elite judges Costume Judge’s sex life to be a 1″

Upon rating Energy Flame a 3, he fell to his knees saying, “All my hopes and dreams shattered! Damn you Costume Judge! Damn you!”

A while into the judging, The Crowd Pleaser showed up and started following the Judge around, giving everybody a 10. We gave The Crowd Pleaser an 8 for his costume.

Stay tuned to for more…

Its a bird! Its a plane! No, its really a plane.

Blue Angel Loop This weekend marked Seattle’s annual Low-Flying Jets Scare the Crap Out of Everyone Festival, otherwise known as Seafair, where the Blue Angels perform over Lake Washington (oh, and those silly jet boat races happen too). In addition to their exciting aerial maneuvers, the Navy’s Blue Angels are also well known for these tricks on the ground: The Gut-Rumbling Car Alarm Trigger, The Smoke-Trail Smog Effect, and The Death-Defying Traffic Jam on I-5, with only inches separating the vehicles.

Here are a couple photos I took two years ago when I went to watch the performance with front-row seats (back when they had a free day for the airshow). And here’s a short video (4mb avi) from last year, when I got to watch them on my lunch break from a park on Capitol Hill.